In particular, there is a |startMonitoringSignificantLocationChanges| method (https://developer.apple.com/library/ios/documentation/CoreLo...), which "callbacks" into apps that have registered with the Core Location framework for significant change updates. The update is provided generally only when cell towers change, so it is not a battery drain (or not a significant one). Hence, your mobile operator definitely has this data, and is most likely already tracking it and/or piping it to the NSA etc.
Significant change monitoring is used by Google Now among other apps (I believe Facebook also does this, I find that more sneaky since they have no obvious need for it). Google Maps navigation does not use this, since it needs more granular and accurate data hence it uses the more battery-intensive location APIs.
If the complaint is that it's okay for Apple to collect this data for apps to use, but there is no need to log it, especially since the user might choose to not allow any apps to access their location data, then that's a fair point. I don't know if iOS shows these logs only on the beta versions, or whether they are stored persistently on release versions as well.
Source: I am a iOS dev, and have built location based apps.
Right now it just collects the data for traffic estimates.
As an aside and shout out:
@willvarfar's demo reminds me of Jer Thorp's talk from a TedX a couple of years back: http://youtu.be/Q9wcvFkWpsM
Background: I have some experience with iOS location APIs too. My concept was called wrkstrm (Here is a quick 1.5 minute demo I made for the AngelHack 2012 summer finals: http://youtu.be/U0adNGyXsuE)
Apple has been refining CoreLocation almost every year since iOS 2 with a focus to battery life. A huge addition came in iOS 5 which introduced the API changes that @tsycho mentioned - significant location monitoring and geo fencing. Again, @tsycho was astute to note that this information was ALREADY being logged by the phone and provided to telcos (there was a huge scare about this a couple of years ago). All Apple did was give developers access to this data without having to hack (check out @willvarfar's demo and OpenPaths). Another aside: These two APIs are what prompted me to learn how to code. I was seriously disappointed when I found out that Apple was "cheating" the implementation of these APIs. The resolution to these APIs is crap - something like football fields of disparity. This is what started my journey into finding a more accurate way to geo fence and track locations.
The screenshots @ladino linked to use a different approach to generate. This information is NEW. Also it was made possible by two sensor driven user interface innovations which seem totally irrelevant. First, in iOS 6 Apple started running the accelerometer all day with it's raise to speak to Siri feature - (simply put the phone to your ear to activate Siri). Now with iOS 7, Apple has introduced a "constant on" gyroscope, with the introduction of the Parallax effect. Now Apple can (for FREE) measure "stay" events when the iPhone is not moving (using signal processing) without necessarily resorting to expensive / inaccurate geo fencing. That is what provides the new location data @tsycho showed. Why am I so sure that this is what Apple is doing? Apple was originally planning to go even further by providing step count data (similar to the Galaxy S4's S Health data) to developers. This is only possible by running the aforementioned sensors and using signal processing. This was shown in the new iOS 7 technologies during the keynote and even in the iOS 7 beta 1 documentation, but all mentions were abruptly removed with beta 2 and beyond. Look for this is iOS 7.1 or iOS 8.
If you are interested I've decided to elaborate on this post over at my nascent blog:
The gyro for parallax is only turned on when the screen is on.
The rest of your comment is pretty much tinfoil.
My other points still stand.
True - I don't work for Apple. But I've sampled most "context aware" frameworks and talked to some of the developers that implemented them. Pretty much every "frequent location" tracking implementation works in a similar way. I'm not saying anything revolutionary here (look up sensor fusion).
My 2 cents is just pointing out how meticulous Apple is when it comes to battery drain. There are other examples of this in iOS 6. The best one is how the CoreLocation team used the new MapKit vector graphics to clip GPS coordinates to streets. Again, Apple didn't invent a new technology to improve GPS accuracy, it leverage a new user interface innovation. To implement this Apple released a activity type (driving, walking, etc) API which alerted CoreLocation as to when it would be appropriate to clip coordinates.
Or it could ask me to identify locations that I care to have context-aware functionality for -- and then not build a complete history of my movements, with all the associated privacy risks involved, just so that it can guess at what's important to me.
This is my core complaint with Google Now as well. This "track everything and try to sift meaning out of the data" approach is not the only way. It requires someone amass have a massive pile of data on me that I am flatly uncomfortable with.
There's the concern about corporate data sharing/selling, corporate data breaches and now the NSA. It's flatly Just Not Worth It, just so that my phone can spare me the trouble of manually entering a handful of addresses. (Most of the addresses I care about are already in my contacts list.)
That telcos have this information is itself a fault in the system. Not an excuse to give it to everyone.
You're right, it's not the only way. That's why I leave only location history on and turn off everything else. I get weather, appointments, stocks and directions to home.
WiFi network + frequent location can probably put you at your house, your office, or your bus stop almost instantaneously (with corrections coming as GPS updates), meaning that using location-based services like Find my iPhone, map routing, or (my most frequent use case) nearest bus stops and their times, can be accomplished much faster and with less battery life.
Likewise, a poor GPS location + frequent locations can narrow you down much faster even with WiFi turned off.
As long as this data is stored only on my phone and not provided wholesale to applications, I'm fine with it; otherwise, it's concerning.
If the NSA wants to track you, there's far simpler ways than asking Apple to build a new product feature than can be disabled.
It's not about when the NSA wants to explicitly track you. It's about things like their "3 step" policy, where they search this bulk data for anyone within 3 degrees of separation of an alleged "person of interest".
What happens if they start working in your location data to (attempt to) infer degrees of separation? And now you're getting searched/visited/explicitly tracked/placed on the 'more-thorough screening' list at the TSA, because you happened to take some MMA classes at the 'wrong' gym in Boston and your web history had some keyword hits.
However, I'm fairly certain they can already do that by tracking cellphone activity in terms of ping back to the network and asking the telcos to turn it over. This would just give them it in a more targeted capacity.
I don't know...letting a plethora of private entities collect and aggregate user data for easy access with (or without in many cases) a court order seems almost like the epitome of simplicity. Most of the hard work (both resource-wise and legal) has been done for you or is easy to do. Just cause one could design a simpler system of acquiring user data doesn't mean that features like this aren't profoundly simple and useful to them.
I take your point though, that the NSA doesn't need to direct a company to code features that collect data...because so many companies already do. It's a waste of their breath. They just need to concentrate on grabbing what has already been grabbed. We've been the product for a long time now, and we're either being sold to the government, or the government is taking what they want under (il)legal cover.
iOS7 uses frequent locations, pretty much like Google Now, to provide the travel times, with traffic, between your frequently visited locations.
Here's a screenshot: http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2013/06/location2.jpg
Google Now is bordering scary
Here's what happens on Google Now when you travel
1 - Search for a place (this is usually the hotel you're going to)
2 - Get there
3 - Google Now will give a traffic alert "xx minutes until $PLACE" (the place you searched for in n.1 )
It also identifies searches for any location (like you said) and offers directions to get there.
When travelling abroad, it identifies your change of location and offers up currency exchange rates and places to visit nearby.
Awesome and scary at the same time.
Most of the times I check invoice emails I am looking for the Tracking Information.
This is what makes it tough to move away from Google. Yes they give the NSA access to my data and border on scary by analyzing all of my usage but they offer some really handy options.
Practically a carbon copy of one of Google's most advanced features is worthy of note I think.
This seems to indicate that Apple did indeed assert what I claimed. Can you show me how this is false?
Apple asserted a design patent that protects the overall appearance of the iPhone - the 'trade dress'. Rounded corners are one of many attributes that describe the appearance of the iPhone. If you copy enough attributes - as the court ruled that Samsung did, you have copied the appearance.
Taking a single element out of context is a lie that Samsung originated, designed to give the appearance that Apple attempted to protect a ridiculously broad concept which the documents show that they did not do.
You are straight up lying here. Observe the patent: http://www.google.com/patents/USD593087
'many attributes' in this case meaning 'two attributes'.
Reading your post history you have a short history of only posting pro Apple and repeating many similar assertions. Yet you have the gall to accuse me of being a paid shill. Hilarious.
And to add to this point, a lot of apps seem to do it. I was wondering why my battery was draining so frequently and I took a look at my location services list and I noticed that Foursquare was another culprit that tapped into my location services very frequently.
Once you have a phone device with an active signal you are tracked, and that's just not being paranoid either.
I think it's naive to suppose that your location information is not stored anywhere. Moreover, your location can be determined also if you're using a dumb-phone using cell towers triangulation.
Blog post: http://williamedwardscoder.tumblr.com/post/15210221400/visua...
> It turns out people have no squirms dragging and dropping their private backup files - often all their files, and not just picking out the files we ask for even - onto a webpage running code we wrote.
Why complain? You can opt out.
Because the person in the article is German, and Germans love their privacy-by-default and opt-in. Datenschutz über alles.
Android does this too.
At least you can turn this off in iOS 7 beta 5.
If we don't like this, we should start to talk more proactively to people about the dangers our technology brings.
The reality was, that it was slowly revealed over time that the tracking is being done, and most people realized it only after mobile phones became a norm and very hard to get rid of.
I'd say that it's the responsibility of those familiar with technology to reveal what possibilities it opens up.
And of course it's the responsibility of the Press to give these points the visibility they deserve.
And one problem of the past was probably the disconnect between tech people and Press people (tech was not understood by the people behind the presses). Today, we have tech bloggers and social media. Let's hope this will make up for something.
For example, if you got to the Settings -> Developer -> Logging menu, you can dump all your network traffic.
You can also do this on (some) application-levels, e.g. if you go to the iMessage preferences, you can enable "iMessage Logging" and "Registration Logging", same for FaceTime (though I'm not sure why any developer would need this, it looks more like this is an Apple-internal thing that they forgot to disable for the public).
I can understand that Apple/govt would love this information. But anyone has guesses on why this would be a public facing feature?
I'm sure they will also use it some other ways too, but the gist is that it actually benefits end-user features and isn't just for dragnet data collection.
If I arrive at Piccadilly Circus, I don't want my phone to tell me what service I [should need/should be using] - I want to easily and consistently access any service that I want from my phone.
I want to be in control of my phone, not for my phone to be in control of me.
It's public facing precisely because people are concerned about this kind of data collection. This way you can make an informed choice about what apps can see about you and what to send to apple.
It is the tragedy of the modern connected world, one that Stallman and others saw coming years ago. And it will keep getting worse.
- Whether this information is collected at all
- which specific apps can access it
- whether apple can receive an anonymized copy of it to improve their maps
The data is stored securely on your device and you can see it delete it.
What more control do you want?
Anyway imho it's close to a perfect surveillance system.
What devices really need is a hardware switch allowing us to physically disconnect cameras and microphones.
I've never understood why this was not introduced as a standard when laptop cams/mics started being built-in.
- can you put your laptop together again? (especially tablets)
- will you be able to see the switch innards to ensure it is disconnected?
- who will bother?
There've been WiFi hardware switches for 10+ years and it's not showing any sings of wearing off.
Although, let's look at the title:
> iPhone logs my complete movement profile (iOS7 screenshots) (protecus.de)
We're not talking about iPads here.