A report on The Atlantic today has brought our attention to the investigation carried out by a group of security researchers into secret files held on Apple iPhones. According to the report, researchers have uncovered a hidden application which contains "the latitude and longitude of the phone's recorded coordinates along with a timestamp" of every location a user visits. Anyone who has been using the Apple 4 operating system will have a one-year-long log of their movements stored on their phone already.
iPhone users will rightly be concerned that their movements are being covertly monitored in this way.
It goes without saying that people ought to be able to move around freely without accumulating a digital record of all their movements. There is significant scope for this kind of technology being used for malign purposes. It could, for example, be accessed by jealous spouses or business rivals keen to know someone's location at a particular time.
While it is a disgrace that iPhones were pre-loaded with this software in the first place, it ought to now fall on the company to provide its customers with information about how to either delete or permanently disable the application.