Developer Ryan Petrich has come up with a jailbreak utility that prevents the Apple iOS mobile operating system from storing location data.
The release of ‘untrackerd’ follows a concerning report from two security researchers who this week revealed that iPhones, iPads and the computers they’re synced with are storing important user information without their consent.
Said information can be easily accessed by anyone with fair computing skills.
Specifically, a file an iOS file called "consolidated.db" stores latitude-longitude coordinates along with a timestamp.
An application like iPhoneTracker can then turn said data into visual routes of that person’s whereabouts, as well as the exact time that person was in a specific place.
Alarming, to say the least, but the researchers who made this discovery said “Don't panic.”
According to them, “there's no immediate harm that would seem to come from the availability of this data. Nor is there evidence to suggest this data is leaving your custody.”
However, they admit to questions remaining unanswered, such as “why this data is stored and how Apple intends to use it.”
For those who want to stay on the safe side, developer Ryan Petrich has them covered.
As long as your device is jailbroken
, you can safely erase all this information and prevent iOS from storing it again, by installing ‘untrackerd’.
The package, accessible on a jailbroken device through Cydia
, installs a daemon (a process that can run in the background) to clean consolidated.db file.
No new icons are added to the user’s home screen, and there is no setup whatsoever, its developer stresses.
While Softpedia does not encourage jailbreaking, it appears that some iOS customers will be tempted, now more than ever, to hack their device, not to run pirated software, but to prevent the phone from storing info on their whereabouts.