Privacy concerns with iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by macswitcha2, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. macswitcha2 macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    I was reading a Chicago SunTime article. LINK below, on how police authorities use phones, specifically the iPhone to track a suspects trail. This is good and bad news.

    I am all for the criminal being caught, especially in grave offenses like murder and rape, kidnapping, and theft.

    However, what I learned what an iPhone can do alarms me. Not because I'm a criminal since given that I'm a law abiding citizen, such recoverable data can save my butt, but alarmed simply knowing that I trull have no privacy.

    Peep the excerpt:

    • Every time an iPhone user closes out of the built-in mapping application, the phone snaps a screenshot and stores it. Savvy law-enforcement agents armed with search warrants can use those snapshots to see if a suspect is lying about whereabouts during a crime.

    • iPhone photos are embedded with GEO tags and identifying information, meaning that photos posted online might not only include GPS coordinates of where the picture was taken, but also the serial number of the phone that took it.

    • Even more information is stored by the applications themselves, including the user's browser history. That data is meant in part to direct custom-tailored advertisements to the user, but experts said some of it could be useful to police.

    Clearing out user histories isn't enough to clean the device of that data, said John B. Minor, a member of the International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners.

    Just as users can take and store a picture of their iPhone's screen, the phone itself automatically shoots and stores hundreds of such images as people close out one application to use another.

    "Those screen snapshots can contain images of e-mails or proof of activities that might be inculpatory or exculpatory," Minor said.

    • The keyboard cache logs everything that you type in to learn autocorrect so that it can correct a user's typing mistakes. Apple doesn't store that cache very securely, Zdziarski contended, so someone with know-how could recover months of typing in the order in which it was typed, even if the e-mail or text it was part of has long since been deleted.

    What are your thoughts about this?

    And, is there a way to actually remove this data?,CST-NWS-iphone01.article
  2. chakraj macrumors 65816


    Feb 6, 2008
    So Cal
    and now that there is a front and back camera, dont think that it is not saving pictures of you and whats around you. The people who built the back doors can get in and see whats going on if they want. I wonder who Steve is in bed with, wink, wink, nudge, nudge, has apple been talking to any alphabet agencies?

    And what do you think apple is going to do with all that server space? Oh, steam tunes, ya thats it, just steam tunes....

    and what about the reports on this site about large data uploads in the midle of the night, when no one was using the phone???

    No, they have nothing to do with one another.

    No story here, move along.....Sheeple
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    1) It's important to remember that a lot of this stuff isn't new. If the police wanted to find out where you were yesterday it's technically possible for them to find out even if you owna plain old RAZR phone. So it's not like this is really an iPhone issue.

    Yeah, the iPhone has MORE stuff in it, but the basic point of "is your privacy protected" applies to just about any technology, not just the iPhone. And that brings us to point 2:

    2) ALL of this stuff should require a search warrent to get, so this is not an issue of "look at this technology" but an issue of "can we trust our legal system?"

    I mean, yeah, there's private data in my phone. There's also private data in my house. If the courts keep the police from randomly searching them both, we're ok. If they start allowing them to do whatever they want without reason...then we have a problem. In that world my iPhone is not a bigger problem than my house. They're simply 2 different things I want to protect.

    - - - -

    So I do agree with you that these are important issues. I just don't agree with the idea that there's anything particularly special about the iPhone. Either the courts are going to protect our privacy or they're not. Once that choice is made it doesn't matter where your data resides.

    The people who write jailbreak software know these phones inside and out. Stuff is not getting transmitted off their phones without them learning everything they can about it.

    So, given that, your theory must be that the jailbreakers are ALSO working with Apple on all these shadowy backgoor projects. Otherwise one of them would have blown the whistle on it already.

    So now we have the cops, Apple, and the jailbreakers all working together. That's QUITE the conspiracy you have there. Seems a bit far-fetched to me, though.
  4. macswitcha2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2008
    I'm with you. Good points. Apart from legal issues, I'm just wondering if the user should have the right to delete the data from his/her phone.

    Also, the data must be very small since this could take up a lot of space.
  5. barkomatic macrumors 601

    Aug 8, 2008
    I think most smartphones do the same type of tracking. It comes with having little computers in our pockets with GPS. The police already have already extracted evidence for years from home computers and it should be no surprise that they will do so with smartphones.

    If the heat is on, I think the best thing you can do is throw the smartphone into the ocean. This would destroy some data, but not that which was uploaded. Better yet, don't take your phone with you at all if you plan on committing crimes. Leave it at home and you could probably actually use it in your *defense*. lol

    Since I don't plan on committing any crimes, I'm not generally worried about these issues. However, its still disturbing as you never know how our civil rights might be degraded in the future. Could be one day its illegal to criticize public officials or something of that nature.

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