Your iPhone Has Been Tracking You Secretly


The story of the day is that your iPhone has been quietly tracking you–in the background. Are you scared? Here’s what Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden from O’Reilly Radar have to say:

…your iPhone, and your 3G iPad, is regularly recording the position of your device into a hidden file. Ever since iOS 4 arrived, your device has been storing a long list of locations and time stamps. We’re not sure why Apple is gathering this data, but it’s clearly intentional, as the database is being restored across backups, and even device migrations.

If you keep your phone safe, and have nothing to hide, there’s no problem. The issue here is, you’re not being opted into this tracking as it takes place in the background, plus this data is stored unencrypted.

Is this action justifiable under the iTunes Terms of Service on Location Based Services?

Apple and our partners and licensees may collect, use, and share precise location data, including the real-time geographic location of your Apple computer or device. This location data is collected anonymously in a form that does not personally identify you and is used by Apple and our partners and licensees to provide and improve location-based products and services. For example, we may share geographic location with application providers when you opt in to their location services.

You can check out where your iPhone has ‘been’ via the app iPhoneTracker created by Allan and Warden. You just might be surprised where you’ve been.

You can change an option to protect yourself. In iTunes, choose to “Encrypt iPhone Backup” via the preferences, and this will be a temporary measure to hide your data should somebody end up possessing your phone.

[O’Reilly Radar]


  • i cant seem to get the app to work…

  • Pete

    Wow – My iPad must be out partying without me! I haven’t even been near some of the places it has! 😀

  • Red Star

    Big Brother Apple!!

  • MrAnonymous

    Yup. Cops use this to track drug dealers and criminals.

  • Kevinmatthewroach

    The tracking info is used to track your location for photos…Like the places feature. Among other not so sinister things.


    Upload your photos to IPhoto and select places. You will see pins where all your photos were taken.

    Not really a “Big brother” thing. Or all that secret…

  • Wait, so you’re telling me people buy a phone with a tracking device built in as an advertised feature, complain about crappy cell phone coverage, and than they are surprised when anonymous data is collected on their whereabouts?

  • Jbohn

    Apparently I make trips to the middle of the lake often! This data is half inaccurate.

  • App works decent. Pretty cool. Although apparently my phone has been to Ontario without my knowledge!

  • 1HisNibs1

    New tweak in Cydia called “Untrackerd” resolves this issue if I understood the tweak’s functionality description correctly.

  • Posted! Thx 😉

  • etowner

    Does anyone know if there is a windows version for this app?

  • xxJDxx


  • Anonymous

    Not released yet

  • Ned

    What is the OS X requirement for this. Downloaded it and not allowed to run it in 10.5.8. Is it a 10.6.x app?

  • Anonymous

    No problem Gary…….always like contributing to the site!

  • Drocass

    Not worried, There is Cameras all over, every street corner, every store, every blogger ect.
    If i was worried about people watching or recording where i was going i wouldnt own a phone nor leave my house lol

    Privacy is a thing of the past ^_~ and thats totally fine with me. My iPhone will keep me safe with my Lightsaber app should anything happen lol