Did you hear? Did you hear? If you've got a 3G device running iOS 4, it's keeping tabs on you. Where you go (roughly) and when (exactly). Why? Good question, and one about which I'm sure we'll be hearing for quite a while.
Let's start with what started it. An O'Reilly Radar piece by security-types Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden saying what they've found and what it means. They also say - in a separate piece - you can see what info your phone or iPad are collecting on you, thanks to an application written by Warden.
Almost as troubling (maybe more so?) the fact that the info being compiled is not encrypted. Silicon Alley Insider says users may want to encrypt their device syncs instead. Here's how to do that.
Senator Stuart Smalley Al Franken is curious about the info iThings are collecting, and so he sat right down and wrote himself a letter. Actually, he wrote it to Apple CEO Steve Jobs asking a series of questions about the data deal. And being a senator now, he may well get an answer.
Perturbed by the whole issue, tech forensics expert Alex Levinson. He's bothered by Allan and Warden's assertion that Apple collects the data since he can find no indication that the info is being sent to anyone else. In fairness, Allan and Warden do say that the info does not seem to be being transmitted to anyone. Maybe the part that annoys Levinson more is the fact that he found the iOS 4 data compilation months before Allan and Warden did. Here's his take.
I feel certain that some will wonder why we should care. In answer, I give you a story that's just plain scary, and really makes me wish my phone wasn't keeping a secret file on me.
Maybe no ill will is intended and maybe no bad will come of it. Still, it would have been neat to know it was happening from the start, rather than having it discovered by people who had to dig and dig and dig.