As a geek myself, reading this ‘finding’ is pathetic. These are like high school students claiming they JUST found the human body has a stomach with digestive juices:
“We are still researching the impact of these juices!!”
Others, like in the WSJ, have hired ‘experts’ to validate this claim that in fact, “Yes, these juices exist and bad things will happen in the human stomach!”
Here are the basic facts:
1. All phones track your location, because they are CELL phones; each attaching to CELL towers, that have unique identifiers (the phones and the cell towers). All phones track these towers for more reliable service, and THEY DO NOT TRANSMIT HISTORICAL DATA to the phone makers or cell service providers. Just the currently active CELL towers. Otherwise you lose cell service.
2. The two supposed geeks that discovered this claim go on to say they really don’t know what this discovery means, but they are looking into it for the altruistic privacy of the free world.
Everyone writes about technology within the blog world seem to be jumping on the sensationalistic line without a true understanding of technology or break down of what was found. The only thing these investigative geeks discovered is the function of how modern cell phones work.
3. The two geeks headline their discovery in a blog, the claim that both Apple and potentially Google are tracking your every move via these cell phones from what they discovered in log files.
While it is true that the towers do track your every move, it is TO HAVE AN OPERATIONAL RELIABLE PHONE. They are not sending HISTORICAL data back to personally identify the end user (the data they found is locked in your phone and the local machine backup – only if you back up your phone to your computer) but never is it being sent back to Apple.
Read that again: The data the two geeks discovered – a log file with historical cell tower locations and time stamps (buried in the phone and on your PC backup) is actually NOT being transferred to the cell phone provider. It lives ONLY on the backup file on your PC, and on your cell phone log files.
4. The technology used by Facebook and other social media websites track actual PERSONAL data; not just location. THESE social technologies are actually collecting personal data, and selling it to other companies, with a blanket consent agreed accepted by all members of their service. Unlike the CELL TOWER technologies that iPhone, Android and Blackberry use, social media privacy intrusion is actually more harmful to privacy and should be getting this media attention. (Read more about how to remove web cookies from you computer in the AOL, Yahoo! or Google help sections of their websites.)
5. The actual question that should be asked by all of the media: Why would someone want to claim this without proof? The only reasons seem for potential stock manipulation or personal fame on the part of these investigators.