Apple location-storing iOS file could be a bug

Controversy might be down to error says an Apple source

Should we stop pointing the guilty finger at Apple?

Yesterday we reported on a hidden file in Apple iOS that automatically tracks and stores your every movement through the device's GPS location capabilities.

The file, called Consolidated.db, caused a massive privacy stir, with the data also backed-up to your computer with every sync, making it vulnerable to third parties who wish to exploit your whereabouts to their own ends.

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But most of the tech world pointed an angry finger at anger, one in-the-know Apple reporter reckons the existence of the file might be an error that'll likely be cleared up in a forthcoming software update.

John Gruber, of the Daring Fireball website, has a pretty decent records of calling the big Apple stories down the years, says his inside source tells him the file wasn't a deliberate inclusion.

"My little-birdie-informed understanding is that consolidated.db acts as a cache for location data, and that historical data should be getting culled but isn't, either due to a bug or, more likely, an oversight," Gruber wrote.

"I.e. someone wrote the code to cache location data but never wrote code to cull non-recent entries from the cache, so that a database that's meant to serve as a cache of your recent location data is instead a persistent log of your location history. I'd wager this gets fixed in the next iOS update."

Apple is so precise with these things that it's a slight stretch of the imagination to believe that this was an oversight, just like when the company tried to say the iPhone 4 "antennagate" was down to mistakes in how the device displayed the signal on the screen.

There's still no comment from Apple on this matter.

Link: Apple insider