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Controversy Over iPhone Tracker

Mapping your movements


When programmers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden unveiled their iPhone app on April 20, no one was more uncomfortable than Apple executives. Allan and Warden had just revealed that they had discovered a "glitch" on Apple iPhone 4 and iPad 3G: a file called "consolidated.db," which regularly stores users' locations.

Allan and Warden said the data is also being sent to the iTunes application when users sync or backup their iPhones or iPads. Controversy erupted.

Within minutes, the pair announced a free app that allows users to see the data collected through their iOS devices. Called iPhone Tracker, it syncs with controversial data on iPhones or iPads. When it finds the file, it displays the user's location history on a map.

Apple had previously said that any data it received was anonymous and that users could disable location services. However, on April 25, the Wall Street Journal reported that testing showed the iPhone was still collecting and storing information when location services were turned off. Apple didn't respond to a request for comment.