In the wake of recent revelations that iPhones may be logging their owner's locations and surreptitiously sending the information back to Apple, South Korea, France, Germany, and Italy have joined the US in pressuring Apple to come clean on just what's going on.
The foreign opt-in follows harsh rebukes from Minnesota Senator Al Franken and Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey, as well as a federal lawsuit filed by two iOS users alleging privacy invasion.
Ever since a pair of investigators discovered that an iOS file called "consolidated.db" logged location data based on cell tower and WiFi base station triangulation, many have feared that the stored data could be used to track them down by fair means or foul. It didn't help when a second research team discovered that many Android phones did almost the same thing — although on Droid phones, the location data wasn't backed up to the user's home PC (as the iPhone does through iTunes). Both phone OS's do allow the tracking to be disabled. And Apple, in fact, maintains that the location data is harvested for no other reason than to assist in GPS accuracy and speed.
At least one police department in Michigan is using forensic software on phones found at crime scenes to pull, not just logged location data, but any other files (photos, messages, etc.) tagged with that locational information. In fact, one forensic expert prefers to mine information from cell phones, rather than personal computers. The reason? Most people keep their phones with them at all times, thus providing a more complete record of their activities.
[Via Ars Technica]