Two programmers have discovered that the latest operating system powering the iPhone and iPad keeps a log of everywhere you go, recording both the location and time you were there.
The feature has been around since June 2010, meaning some iPhones have nearly a year of location history recorded in a single file -- every step, trip to the park, family vacation and more. And that, said Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden, who uncovered the file, poses serious problems.
"It became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements [in the iPhone]," they noted in a post on their website.
"By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple has made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements."
Apple did not respond to calls or e-mails for comment from FoxNews.com.
But the iPhone feature could be good news for police. According to the ACLU, Michigan police are currently using a device called the Cellebrite UFED during traffic pull-overs. It can grab all the data out of a phone within minutes. The company's website goes on to note: "Easy to use in both the field and in lab environments, UFED extracts vital data such as phonebook, pictures, videos, text messages, call logs … it then gathers the data into reports for research and evidence."
But the ACLU argues that the use of the device by police officers during traffic stops would be illegal, and is attempting to obtain Internal records on exactly how the department uses the devices. "[The devices] allow them to extract information from cell phones without a warrant," Kary Moss, Executive Director of the Michigan ACLU, said.
But to the matter at hand: What can you do if you want to ensure your data is safe? Ahearn says the simplest method is just not to use a fancy phone. As of now there is no known way to stop an iPhone with OS 4 from logging locations.