Since the iOS4 update last June, iPhones track everywhere you go and store it in an easy-to-hack-or-subpoena format. It is practically invisible to most users and you can’t disable it or get rid of the data. Why? Apple won’t say.
Whatevs. Me and my $15 cell phone will live happily on stale twinkies and soup cans with torn-off labels for years after your idevices calmly direct the rest of you to check out a nearby ‘reprocessing center’ for AWESOME EXCLUSIVE DEALS on the iPad3.
What’s so bad about this?
The most immediate problem is that this data is stored in an easily-readable form on your machine. Any other program you run or user with access to your machine can look through it.
The more fundamental problem is that Apple are collecting this information at all. Cell-phone providers collect similar data almost inevitably as part of their operations, but it’s kept behind their firewall. It normally requires a court order to gain access to it, whereas this is available to anyone who can get their hands on your phone or computer.
By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple have made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements.