The Michigan State Police have started using handheld machines called “extraction devices” to download personal information from motorists they pull over, even if they’re not suspected of any crime. Naturally, the ACLU has a problem with this.
Well, so do I. Has Michigan heard of the Fourth Amendment? Why is it that everything thinks computer/cellphone/other electronic media is fair game for government snooping (not to mention collecting and selling for private data by Google/Facebook and all the rest? Be warned, anything you do on your computer is known to the government and apparently soon what you do on your phone will be fair game too.
By the way, if you have an iPhone, Big Brother can watch you all the easier (as can your ex-wife’s lawyer).
For some phones, there could be almost a year’s worth of data stored, as the recording of data seems to have started with Apple’s iOS 4 update to the phone’s operating system, released in June 2010.
“Apple has made it possible for almost anybody – a jealous spouse, a private detective – with access to your phone or computer to get detailed information about where you’ve been,” said Pete Warden, one of the researchers.
Only the iPhone records the user’s location in this way, say Warden and Alasdair Allan, the data scientists who discovered the file and are presenting their findings at the Where 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Wednesday. “Alasdair has looked for similar tracking code in [Google’s] Android phones and couldn’t find any,” said Warden. “We haven’t come across any instances of other phone manufacturers doing this.”