Researchers Discover iPhone File That Contains Your Entire Location History

Researchers Discover iPhone File That Contains Your Entire Location History

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Researchers have discovered what could be a major privacy issue for many iOS device owners. Apple is storing co-ordinates of every location you've ever been to in one unencrypted file.

Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden report that they'd been discussing doing a visualization of mobile data, and while he was researching into what was available, Alasdair discovered this file. At first we weren’t sure how much data was there, but after we dug further and visualized the extracted data, it became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements. It also became obvious that at least some other people knew about it, but it wasn't being publicized.

The location data is stored in a file called consolidated.db which you can find in your /private/var/root/Library/Caches/locationd folder. It is also copied unencrypted to your computer when doing an iTunes backup.

The more fundamental problem is that Apple are collecting this information at all. Cell-phone providers collect similar data almost inevitably as part of their operations, but it’s kept behind their firewall. It normally requires a court order to gain access to it, whereas this is available to anyone who can get their hands on your phone or computer.

By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple have made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements.


An application has been created to visualize the data found in consolidated.db; however, the spatial and temporal accuracy of the data has been artificially reduced. You can only animate week-by-week even though the data is timed to the second, and if you zoom in you’ll see the points are constrained to a grid, so your exact location is not revealed. This was done on purpose so the app would not be used inappropriately.

You can learn more at the link below...

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Soso - April 21, 2011 at 1:25am
So when i do restore does thisfile reset too?
Kayvon - April 21, 2011 at 1:20am
Isn\'t this for the \"Find My iPhone\" app? Track me, so what. It wont be gangsters who follow me or come find me, they don\'t know how to extracts and decode a file like that. it\'ll be some techy dweeb who wants to fuc* my wife. let them try to track me down, who cares? Dont be pussies, soooo dramatic.
Bob - April 20, 2011 at 11:52pm
Can anyone make a nicer version of iPhoneTracker.app that lets you visualize all of the datapoints against a time format that humans understand instead of a generic week to week approximation? Yes, this can be used for good or evil, I\'m asking for the greater good.
Tony - April 20, 2011 at 11:07pm
Well, verry bad news !!! shame on you APPLE.... I begin ot hate this compagny even i buy more than 30 000 $ since more than 7 years i switched....for me Apple is finish...after all the bad matérial quality...now is Spying...to much for me.....( & for many ) I hate you Apple......& gona wiait the day you fall down....i make than an big party to celebrated that event.... Really shit...
Kayvon - April 21, 2011 at 1:18am
LOL What the hell are you talking about? Find another site to comment on. This is for apple news. LOL What language was that.
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