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.

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