The battle between Android and iPhone users has been fierce throughout the past year, but some unsavory news coming from a group of iPhone app developers lets us score this latest round a 10 for Android. According to the folks at O'Reilly Radar, your iPhone or 3G iPad has been storing GPS data without your knowledge. Question is – what the heck is Apple saving this data for in the first place?
The data, which appears to be GPS coordinates and associated time stamps, is stored within a file named "consolidated.db". The guys over at O'Reilly Radar have built an application to view your own data on a map (available here), but it appears to only work with OS X, and thus Mac users. While cell phone companies have always had this data, but it's only available with a court order (if you watch enough Law and Order, you should know this already). However, this formerly hidden data file is unencrypted and thus easily accessible to anyone who gets hold of your phone. While there seems to be a myriad of coordinates saved to the phone, this data likely won't cause any harm to the individual user since the phone is needed itself to access the data. And as usual, Apple is tight-lipped so far about the matter. However, Apple has had it's share of controversy in the past, whether it's incessantly bashing Flash, raiding the home of a blogger who found a lost iPhone4 prototype, or initially allowing a 'gay cure' app. And on a day where Apple released quarterly earnings that doubled over last year, the timing of this new controversy could not be worse.
**Update: How could I forget this gem from Apple? Seems to be quite foretelling!