Curious To See Where My iPhone Has Been? Check This Out

By now you’ve probably read about the iPhone tracking controversy whereby the GPS coordinates of your iPhone (obtained via cell tower triangulation) is constantly stored in an unsecured, unencrypted file within the iPhone itself. This data collection started off with iOS 4, and depending on when you’ve upgraded to iOS 4, the amount of data recorded starts from that date you’ve upgraded. It is NEVER purged.

While it’s understandable that this raises privacy AND security issues, to me it’s pretty cool when you get to use tool created by the UK researchers that found out about this issue, to visualize on a map on where I’ve been. Check out the following screencaps that I grabbed from Pete Warden’s iPhone Tracker. The Mac OS X app reads the file called consolidated.db (the heart of the controversy) from my iPhone backup and uses OpenStreetMap to visualize the information.


Not many people know that I’m based in Malaysia but in any case, the above screenshot pretty much confirms this.The screen cap basically shows that my activities in Malaysia (after upgrading to iOS 4), and they are confined to the west coast of Peninsula Malaysia. While I’m based in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, I’ve traveled to the states of Perak and Penang during this period of time.


I’ve been to several countries (after upgrading to iOS 4), namely Vietnam and Jakarta, the screen cap above is for Vietnam which I went for a holiday last year, specifically to Ho Chi Minh City, which is located off centre on the right hand side of the map. I’ve visited the infamous Chu Chi tunnels, located at top of the map on the right, and part of the magnificent Mekong River on the lower left of the map.


I’ve been to Jakarta, Indonesia about 3-4 times these several months; and these are business trips that brought me to different parts of this stunning, slightly crazy and rather polluted metropolis. Jakarta has its own charm and the food is definitely something to be savoured.

This is pretty cool stuff and although I wish that the data should have been encrypted in the first place, I would love to be able to see this kind of visualization continued.



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