The popular media is reporting with great fervour (and it appears some surprise) that Apple has been tracking every iPhone 4 and iPad 3G sold since they were first turned on, without their owners’ knowledge. This alone isn’t very surprising given that for years experts have warned the public about the negative side of carrying a network enabled GPS with you at all times. However, what is surprising is how careless Apple is with the data. They store it in an open-text format where it’s easily found on any computer that syncs with a given iPhone. This means that companies that issue iPhones have an easily accessible, automatic log of their employees’ movements should they ever need it for an investigation for example, or if they’re ever just curious. Law enforcement agencies have already been using the file to learn the whereabouts of iPhone users. Continue reading
One of the highlights of this year’s South by Southwest (SxSW) Interactive festival was a talk given by Phil Zimmermann about the current frontiers of identity theft and internet privacy. Personally it was amazing to get to hear Zimmermann speak in person. For those who are not familiar with him, Phil Zimmerman was one of the first famous online freedom fighters. He became the subject of much media attention in the early 90’s when he released PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), the first freely available military-grade email encryption program.