Blogography Logo
spacer

   

Spy

Posted on July 14th, 2012

Dave!Out of the corner of my eye I caught a woman at the airport trying to "secretly" take my picture with her mobile phone. "Well that's odd, I thought to myself," as I started waving at her frantically. Then I raised up my iPhone to take her picture, which caused her to disappear like a fart in the wind.

I tried to think back to what I was doing that was so fascinating that it merited a photo. Was I scratching my balls or something? I couldn't recall. Possibly? Probably. Hell, there really is no privacy now-a-days.

You can even spy on me in mid-air if you want.

Or I can spy on myself.

According to FlightView, I'm flying over Nebraska at 34,000 feet right now...

Flight Over Nebraska

And while I am not currently scratching my balls, I've been thinking about it ever since I wrote about wondering about scratching my balls two minutes ago.

Guess now I'll have something to do at baggage claim while I'm waiting for my suitcase to arrive.

Get your cameras ready...

Tags: ,
Categories: Travel 2012Click To It: Permalink  4 Comments: Click To Add Yours!  

   

Private

Posted on April 20th, 2011

Dave!This morning after my daily toast and jam, I checked my email and saw a new one pop up with the subject line "How does it feel?" which came from an email address I didn't recognize. Naturally, I thought this was some kind of creepy spam that was advertising male "enhancement drugs" or some other crap, but I was also curious because usually one of my two spam filters manages to intercept stuff like this. So I opened it.

Much to my surprise, it wasn't spam. It was a reader(?) who was overjoyed to be telling me that "Your hero Steve Jobs is spying on you" and was asking "How does it feel to have your privacy raped by Apple?" Then there was a link to a website for an application called iPhone Tracker.

Apparently, your iPhone is constantly keeping track of everywhere you go and "secretly" saving this data. Then, when you sync your iPhone with your computer, iPhone transfers this information to your backup file. It also transfers the data when you migrate to a new iPhone or restore your data for some reason. Two guys names Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden stumbled across it and decided to write a program that allows you to display the data on a map, like so...

iPhone Tracker Map
Everywhere in the USA I've been for the past ten months.

iPhone Tracker Map
The tracking is surprisingly deep. This is a drive I made out of Chicago last July.

iPhone Tracker Map
Three or four trips to Europe, all tracked!

iPhone Tracker Map
The dots are obviously not actual locations in Corsica I visited... probably just cell towers iPhone signaled.

iPhone Tracker Map
A drive down the Amalfi Coast in Italy.

Now, my first reaction when I opened the program on my Mac was THIS IS SO AWESOME!! I mean, heck, I actually bought an iPhone app called "Trip Journal" to track my travels... I could have saved some money if I had known the feature was built-in! My only disappointment was that the data only goes back to June 30th, 2010 and I wish it went back further.

But then the implications began to sink it.

The iPhone Tracker developers don't believe that this data is transmitted to Apple in any form, but that doesn't mean that Apple couldn't take a look at it in the future. This alone doesn't scare me much since AT&T already has a record of everywhere I go (they log call locations for billing purposes). What does concern me is that Apple doesn't disclose that this data is being collected. If somebody were to steal my laptop, they could potentially see everywhere I've been and I'd be none the wiser because nobody told me it was there when I bought my iPhone. Not that I really care... I always blog where I'm at and log my every move with Gowalla anyway, but still... this is not a good thing.

Mostly because this data could be used in devious ways now that everybody knows about it. Want to know if your wife is cheating on you? Pull up iPhone Tracker and you can see exactly where she's been at any point in time. Want to know what your kids are up to? Run iPhone Tracker and know everywhere they go. Want to stalk somebody? Break into their house and run iPhone Tracker on their computer so you can track their movement patterns. The list goes on and on.

Obviously I don't think there's any evil motive behind Apple logging this information. They're probably working on some cool new feature for iDevices which will use the data in an interesting way. But they really, really should have warned people that their location is being tracked and definitely give people the option to turn this "feature" off if they should so desire. At the very least they should be encrypting it so that it's not so ridiculously easy to view.

I'm not very paranoid by nature, but every time something like this pops up, I can't help but wonder what other aspects of my life are being analyzed and collected. Then I conclude there's probably no part of my life that isn't on a computer somewhere, and just accept the fact that very little of what we do or say is private.

Welcome to 1984.

   
If you want to spy on yourself, you can download the Mac app to view your iPhone tracking data here.

   

  Home  

spacer
Welcome:
Blogography is a place to learn and grow by exposing yourself to the mind of David Simmer II, a brilliant commentator on world events and popular culture (or so he claims).
Dave FAQ:
Frequently Asked Questions
Dave Contact:
dave@blogography.com
Blogography Webfeeds:
Atom Entries Feed
Comments Feed
translate me
flags of the world!
lost & found
Search Blogography:
thrice fiction
Thrice Fiction Magazine - March, 2011 - THE END
I'm co-founder of Thrice Fiction magazine. Come check us out!
hard rock moment
Visit DaveCafe for my Hard Rock Cafe travel journal!
travel picto-gram
Visit my travel map to see where I have been in this world!
badgemania
Blogography Badge
Atom Syndicate Badge
Comments Syndicate Badge
Apple Safari Badge
Pirate's Booty Badge
Macintosh Badge
license
All content copyright ©2003-2017
by David Simmer II
   
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under
a Creative Commons License.
ssl security
Comodo SSL