There’s been loads of hype and hooplah recently surrounding the discovery that Apple iPhone devices have been secretly recording location data of users, building a spatial index of location data where the user has been.
Indeed a little unsettling, however, before users get unraveled and concerned that Big Brother is watching their every move the real story should be understood. Over on his Geothought blog, Peter Batty has done a nice job exploring in detail just exactly what is taking place on the device.
Using his own travels as a pilot, Peter (@pmbatty) reveals that the location data being stored tells very little that concerns him. Batty comments that the data logs appear to be storing position information of cell towers that his device has communicated with (no surprise there) and that relatively little information that is precise or even useful is being gathered.
"The quick summary: I believe I have confirmed that Apple is not storing your location, but the (actual or estimated) location of cell towers (and WiFi access points) that are close to you, to help locate you as you move (these are not necessarily towers that you have been in communication with)."
Interesting, Peter has gone as far as sharing some location data from his device, from the log file called WiFilocation, via Google Fusion Table – gMap view of these data:
See Peter’s posts:
- The scoop: Apple’s iPhone is NOT storing your accurate location, and NOT storing history
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