Yesterday, we reported on an open-source application called iPhone Tracker which could tap into an unencrypted file on your iOS device and read the physical location of the device over the past year. While the feature has been known about for a while, the fact that an iPhone or iPad stores location information for up to year is apparently a bug in the iOS software that will likely be fixed by Apple in a future update. This is according to John Gruber of Daring Fireball who has heard from sources that the file, consolidated.db, acts as a cache for location data but due to the bug, isn’t being emptied.
”I don’t have a definitive answer, but my little-birdie-informed understanding is that consolidated.db acts as a cache for location data, and that historical data should be getting culled but isn’t, either due to a bug or, more likely, an oversight. I.e. someone wrote the code to cache location data but never wrote code to cull non-recent entries from the cache, so that a database that’s meant to serve as a cache of your recent location data is instead a persistent log of your location history. I’d wager this gets fixed in the next iOS update”
If Gruber is right, then it is likely that apple is treating this as a non-issue and will probably release a bug fix in the next version of iOS. That process may be hurried up however, as some US Senators are apparently worried that the information could be used and abused by…wait for it….bad actors (letter via ArsTechnica).
Just keep your iPhone hidden from the cast of Twilight.