Apple spying on consumers

The It group, Apple has equipped its latest versions of iPhones and iPads with a technical gadget, that makes it possible to continuously track and store information about the owner's movements.

Says two British it security experts, Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden. With the right equipment, it is possible to determine where the owners of the new models of iPhone and iPad have been, while they have had their smartphones or electronic reading panels.

The technical component, which critics describe as spy equipment, makes it possible to save the owner's movements in a secret file. The component is implemented in Apple's latest operating system, iOS 4, which came on the market in april 2010.

Politicians outraged

Apple has not commented on the information first published in the British newspaper The Guardian the other day, but both politicians and campaigners for the right to privacy are furious and demands an explanation from Apple.

Tracking systems in the Apple-products that belong to the best-selling in the world, comes as a surprise to most, say experts.

- Ever since iOS 4 came on the market, your iPhones have cached information about where you've been, and when you've been there, writes Allan and Warden on website radar.oreilly.com.

In addition, it is possible for Apple via the new technical gadget to obtain information about the owners profession, language, and zip codes.

The two security experts say that they do not know why Apple has installed the new component, but that there "is no doubt that it has made it quite deliberately".

Requires explanation

The collected information is also available on all computers, an iPhone or iPad is synchronized with.

Politicians in the United States, Germany and United Kingdom are surprised about this information and Parliament's unanimously require, that Apple must come up with an explanation regarding the new component, and why it is implemented in iOS 4.

- Apple must explain how long and with what purpose this component is taken into use, and why the information is stored, said a spokesman for the German consumer minister Holger Eichele.

 

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