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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Staff Editorial

Privacy issues surface again with technology

Apple’s iPhone 4, which floats between being the most popular smartphone to being tied with Google’s Android phone, is a device that is known for its seemingly limitless capabilities. But sometimes the capabilities that are amazing about these devices can also be alarmingly revealing.

In a blog posting on, editor Sam Biddle wrote about a new development that has many gadget geeks buzzing with curiosity and some iPhone owners creeped out, Biddle included.

Two researchers, Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan, stumbled upon data that was collected on several Apple products which tracked the precise location of the products with timestamps while keeping a record of it for an extended amount of time. The data, which is based off of latitude and longitude coordinates and accompanied by timestamps, is shockingly accurate.

According to an O’Reilly Radar blog post, Warden and Allan wrote, “the presence of this data on your iPhone, your iPad, and your backups has security and privacy implications.” The long record of your locations and the corresponding timestamps isn’t the entire reason to be worried or nervous. Furthermore, what also worries both researchers is that this information is unprotected despite being discreetly hidden through file folders.

According to the researchers Warden and Allan, “what makes this issue worse is that the file is unencrypted and unprotected, and it’s on any machine you’ve synched with your iOS device. It can also be easily accessed on the device itself if it falls into the wrong hands.” The researchers and many other writers who are concerned about this have asked Apple why this information is being recorded, but have so far not heard a response.

But this development isn’t one to panic about; rather it’s one to be conscious of. Moreover, if any iPhone or smartphone user has a right to be worried it should be due to the fact that technology has become so advanced that what we don’t know is often what can hurt us. When it comes to personal information, we should know when we’re being tracked and for what purposes.

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