2011.04.21

Oh yeah, time to freak out, because your iPhone is tracking you! Well, it’s tracking itself, or cell towers, or wifi access points, or… something of interest, but sadly, it’s not doing a great job at it.

For some people, this is “Big Brother” type of scare… and for others (fans of geo-tracking) it’s not quite good enough.

I grabbed iPhone Tracker, and dug through some of my files, and took a look at the SQLite database, and was fascinated by the data (I tend to get fascinated by data) but I didn’t feel like alerting the media about it…

Will Clarke has a nice blog post about this as well. It’s worth a read.

Here’s some data that was marked 2010-12-29. I’m not sure what that date refers to, but this seems to show my trip taken on 2011-01-01. I find it interesting to see this data. Back in mid-2010 I wrote some code to make an archive of my Foursquare data, with the thought I would map it all out at some point. Sadly, I’ve collected a lot of data, but haven’t done anything useful with it yet. Maybe it would make more sense for me to just get my geo-data directly from my iPhone. I mean, I don’t even have to check in and it knows (roughly) where I’ve been!

This seems to do a poor job of showing where I was. I mean, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t in all of these location. Maybe it was just my phone connecting to towers in all of these locations…

A nice table view of some of the geo-data the iPhone records. Now to figure out how to use it for something good. Or bad. Or somewhere in-between.

One Response to “Your iPhone is tracking you!”

  1. Tim BailenNo Gravatar says:

    This item was near yours in my reader feed:
    http://www.zeit.de/datenschutz/malte-spitz-data-retention

    It’s a facinating visualization from one person’s cell phone data.

    Here’s the blurb from the website:
    “Green party politician Malte Spitz sued to have German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom hand over six months of his phone data that he then made available to ZEIT ONLINE. We combined this geolocation data with information relating to his life as a politician, such as Twitter feeds, blog entries and websites, all of which is all freely available on the internet.

    By pushing the play button, you will set off on a trip through Malte Spitz’s life. The speed controller allows you to adjust how fast you travel, the pause button will let you stop at interesting points. In addition, a calendar at the bottom shows when he was in a particular location and can be used to jump to a specific time period.”

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