Yesterday, these guys revealed how iPhones and iPads (the models with cell-phone connectivity) maintain about a year’s worth of data related to the cell locations they’ve encountered. What’s more, every time an iPhone/iPad owner syncs the device to their computer, the cell data is backed-up there, as well. What’s even, even more, more, the guys wrote a Mac OSX program that will grab the data and create a map — just like the one I created above.
Wait!? I did what? Did I just post that incredibly private information on my blog? Well, considering that when I was at each of those locations, I was either blogging, tweeting or checking-in about being there, I see this as just a handy reminder of 12 months worth of my travel — except for the Las Vegas circles I cropped out (what cell locations I passed by in Vegas, stays in Vegas).
It’s not like I don’t know my iPhone is being tracked. Last year, I wrote about how such a tracking feature enabled me to recover a stolen iPhone. (The same remarkable phone that a few weeks later survived a visit (including spin cycle) to the family washing machine.)
No doubt, there will be privacy-invasion lawsuits filed against Apple by night fall. But, Apple doesn’t care: They file so many lawsuits themselves, their legal department is 4 Square Mayor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. I’m sure that, buried somewhere in those user-agreement I never read, I’ve given them permission to know everything there is to know about me. [Later: Yes, apparently I did.]
Bottomline: I think the map is pretty cool, however, I’m encrypting the information with instructions from the guys who revealed it yesterday. (To encrypt your backups through iTunes, click on your device within iTunes and then check “Encrypt iPhone Backup” under the “Options” area.)