Friday, April 29, 2011

Protect your iLocation

There has been an almost universally negative reaction to the news that smartphones – and in particular the iPhone – stores its users location data on the phone and in its backup file. Privacy concerns are obviously key, and this week I was made aware of a site (here) that offers a program that uses that location data and plots it on a map.

My Mac iPhone backup file is encrypted (by checking the box at the bottom of the main iTunes window as shown below).

Because of this I seem to have blocked access by this programme to my iPhone’s location data.

You can try it yourself – download the program and run it. It will give you a map of all the locations you’ve been to (it’s actually quite cool provided you haven’t got anything to hide. It shows you where you’ve been since you’ve had your phone). Then re-sync your phone but now with the backup encrypted and you will get an error message like the one below.

It’s not clear whether this makes the data stored on the actual phone any more secure or just the data in the backup file stored on your computer. But it does at least add some level of security to this pretty confidential information.

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