4/24/11

Master of News

Privacy Policy: Apple's iPhone and iPad under fire

After two IT experts, the lack of protection of the iPhone and have discovered iPad, the computer company Apple is now under attack. The two Britons, according to Save iPhone and iPad long term and worldwide movement profiles of their users. Thomas Kranig privacy advocates called on Apple to make a statement.
The computer giant Apple is under fire: computer experts and politicians were on Thursday equally appalled at the way the company deals with data protection. Two Britons revealed that both the mobile phone iPhone and the minicomputer iPad save the movement profiles of their users - worldwide and in particular the long term. With the "iphone tracker" that featured the IT experts Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan for their websites, each user could also pursue even on an interactive map of where he moves. Apple was silent all the criticism of defiance.
Showed in Germany for the U.S. company responsible data protection Thomas Kranig about the recording of so-called geo-data by Apple very concerned. "If I put myself in the role of the user, then I would feel uncomfortable just now," he told the news agency DAPD in Ansbach. His Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Inspectorate is responsible for Apple, because the German branch is based in Bavaria. Kranig claimed to have asked the local representative of Apple to investigate the affair.

According to initial findings, collect the devices from Apple, which can connect to the wireless network, no precise location information. According to consistent reports of journals but the data are collected by the radio cells in which users move with iPhone and iPad. From a few meters to capture the exact coordinates, the GPS receiver can deliver via satellite and the iPhone and installed iPads are standard, there was no question.

Worldwide, millions of users affected
"Until now it was always like that one for a service, which measures the geo-data users could log-free - if you trust the service. Exactly what happened here but not, "said the expert of mobile phone magazine" c't ", Joerg Wirtgen DAPD, in conversation with. "You can not sign out of data collection by Apple so far. This applies worldwide million users. Very complete "profile of the movements recorded, because today" "Unlike many other programs and devices that stored the data, also a will" always have a lot of their phones. " Wirtgen, "I do not know how many divorce lawyers would focus on the movement profiles of the respective partner."

Warden and Allan listed on its program "iphone tracker", the "most pressing" problem of data collection by Apple, is that the data would be stored in an "easily readable form" on the computers of users: Allow "Any other program that you run has, or any other user from accessing your computer may get introduced. "is a problem," "The" more fundamental that Apple collects the data at all. " Warden and Allan gave but also indicated that there still was no indication that Apple store the data elsewhere too, such as on its servers in the network.

"Apple has been known for some time about the problem"
Apple has not manifested itself on the allegations. Wirtgen expert said, however, believe that the problem "some people knew many months ago. It is now high but it cooked. "Apple therefore already aware of this problem for some time," said art journalist. The Federal Data Protection Commissioner Peter Schaar criticized on Thursday the group. A spokeswoman said the DAPD, users would have to "decide for themselves when personal data is collected. Apple now has a 'street'. "

The Federal Ministry for Consumers by Ilse Aigner (CSU) called on Apple. "The company must respond to the accusations," the spokesman for interior and power politics of the Greens in the Bundestag, Konstantin von Notz, described the data processing practices of Apple as a "transparent". The company "plays with the confidence of its users," he said in Berlin. Apple's practice was "simply the opposite of informational self-determination and an invitation to abuse of information by whomever."

Also, encryption of data, no Apple-standard
It remained unclear why Apple stores the data automatically - what happens without a not yet released update for the devices in the future. Warden and Allan speculated that the group could work in a service, the data of this kind of need. Mobile expert Wirtgen said: "Maybe it goes to site-targeted ads to advertise from a gas station or restaurant that you visited often."
As a quick way to protect the data, recommended Wirtgen, set in the Apple iTunes software for the comparison of the data that backups would be stored encrypted. "This is not yet standard, but must be chosen later by the users extra," said technology journalist. "From what we know so far, a readout of the data is no longer possible.