Thursday April 21, 2011

Detailed Analysis of consolidated.db

I think this will probably be the last link I’ll make about the iPhone location tracking debacle. John Gruber brought up this great post by Alex Levinson. Alex discovered this way back in the fall of last year (2010). The cache has always been on the phone to speed up Core Location. But it wasn’t always in a user accessible place.

The change comes with a feature introduced in iOS 4 – Mutlitasking and Background Location Services. Apps now have to use Apple’s API to operate in the background – remember, this is not pure unix we’re dealing with – it is only a logical multitasking through Apple’s API. Because of these new APIs and the sandbox design of 3rd party applications, Apple had to move access to this data. Either way, it is not secret, malicious, or hidden. Users still have to approve location access to any application and have the ability to instantly turn off location services to applications inside the Settings menu on their device. That does not stop the generation of these logs, however, it simply prevents applications from utilizing the APIs to access the data.

Again, why not truncate these records after a month? Sloppy. :/