Apple gives your snaps to anyone who asks

Apple users have been warned that a hole in Jobs’ Mob’s faith based security system enables anyone to take all the photographs they have stored on the iPhone, iPad or iPod.

According to the New York Times, which seems to be writing balanced Apple stories since Steve Jobs croaked, if a user allows an application to have access to location information, they will also have access to anything stored on the phone. That does not just mean a Coldplay collection, but also any documents and photographs they had on there.

This would mean that if a red top tabloid had wanted access to celebrity sexy snaps all it would have to do is write an application and encourage the B lister to download it. Otherwise it would be a small matter to bribe a developer who had installed an app on a celeb’s iPhone to hack into it.

The way it works is that the first time an app wants to use location data, for mapping or any other purpose, Apple’s devices ask the user for permission, noting in a pop-up message that approval “allows access to location information in photos and videos.”

The Times said that it was unclear whether any apps in Apple’s App Store were illicitly copying user photos and Apple does not say if any apps are allowed to copy photographs.

Intstead, Apple says that it screens all apps submitted to the store, a process that should catch nefarious behaviour on the part of developers. But that has proved only partly successful as while copying address book data was against Apple’s rules, popular apps that collected that information were approved.