News Stories

Your Phone Knows Where You Go

It's true--There are SPIES everywhere! (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).Your cell phone is tracking you, there are spies on Facebook and now a tracking file has been found hidden inside iPhones.

At a recent conference, two computer programmers showed how their phones had mapped their movements between two cities. IPhones began collecting this data a year ago, when Apple updated its mobile operating system. After customers upgraded the software, a new HIDDEN file began periodically storing their location data, gotten from nearby cell phone towers and Wi-Fi networks. When the phone is synced to a computer, the data file can be copied to the hard drive.

In the April 20th edition of the New York Times, Nick Bilton quotes privacy advocate Marc Rotenberg as saying, "The secretive collection of location data crosses the privacy line. Apple should know better than to track iPhone users in this way."

Engineer Stephen B. Wicker says, "Most people don't understand that we're selling our privacy to have these devices. It is vitally important to recognize that cellular telephony is a surveillance technology, and that unless we openly discuss this surveillance capability and craft appropriate legal and technological limits to that capability, we may lose some or all of the social benefits of this technology, as well as a significant piece of ourselves. The data that is collected by service providers and third parties can be used for direct marketing. Direct marketing is an enormous industry."

In the Times, Bilton quotes technology expert Tim O'Reilly as saying, "It is one more sign of how devices are collecting data about us and potentially sharing it with others. This is the future. We have to figure out how to deal with it." To download a program that will reveal the data that your iPhone is secretly recording about your movements, click here.

At our Dreamland Festival in June, we won't ban cell phones, but we WILL ask you turn them off during the talks of some of wonderful people, like William Henry, who have interviewed the world's most fascinating folks! (NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).   



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