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iPhone 5 Set For Possible September Launch, While Current Phones Spy On You

Posted by: , 20:29 AEST, Thu April 21, 2011

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More iPhone 5 rumours as supplier says it could be shipping in September, while a new scandal surfaces that involves the iPhone and iPad secretly storing your travel locations

The iPhone 5 may be available as soon as September, if information provided by supplier are true. Suppliers are saying that production will begin in July, which means that the launch will most likely happen around two month later, in September.

As usual, Apple are keeping tight lipped about what will be new in the iPhone 5, but all signs are pointing to a small evolutionary upgrade, rather than a large revolutionary one. Amongst the likely new features include an updated processor, a new design that will hope to ease the problems related to the antenna (dubbed antennagate), the inclusion of Near Field Communication (NFC) support (something Google's Android has already adopted), and other small updates.

One thing that may change could be the way the phone stores your travelling data. Security researchers investigating the innards of the iPhone file system have found a secret file that apparently stores a set of coordinates of the phone's current location, and a timestamp of when the recording took place. With these two pieces of information, and a software to analyse the data, it is actually possible for anyone with access to this file to track where the owner of the phone has been, and what time they were there.

Stored in a mysteriously named file called "consolidated.db", this database of locations and times is also copied to the owner's computer whenever the iPhone is synced, adding to the security issues. And it appears it's not just phones, but 3G iPads, that are also doing the same thing (as long as its running iOS 4).

The fact that Apple is doing this without the express knowledge of the user, and how easy the file can be accessed (no encryption, for example), could be a serious security and privacy issue, although anyone who has read the 15,200 word iTunes user agreement will find that, yes, they have given Apple permission to "collect, use, and share precise location data".

Apple has yet to comment at the time of writing.

Are you concerned that Apple is storing your locations with timed information in an insecure file? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread:


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