Apple’s iPhone has the capability of keeping track of where its users go and then timestamping those movements. If the device is synched to a computer that data is shared - and all of it can be easily accessed by anyone via a simple program, according to a report in The Guardian. The data recording appears to have begun with the iOS 4 update, which was released in June 2010.
While mobile privacy issue has been in the headlines lately, prompting an investigation by at least one government agency, it appears as though those violations are minor compared to Apple's apparent actions. The researchers behind the study, Peter Warden and Alasdair Allan - one of which used to work for Apple - say only the iPhone collects data in such a manner.
Apple’s intent is unclear, they say in a FAQ on their site. "One guess might be that they have new features in mind that require a history of your location, but that's pure speculation. The fact that it's transferred across devices when you restore or migrate is evidence the data-gathering isn't accidental."
iPads Too But Not Verizon's CDMA Phones
3G iPads appear to log the info as well, according to TUAW, which began playing the data as it became public, but possibly not the Verizon iPhone as one of the testers was unable to see the data on her CDMA device. "It's possible the data is only logged on GSM models," TUAW says.