iPhone stores location details even when GPS is turned off

Apple’s control issues are getting more obvious as the scandal over Jobs’ Mob snooping gets worse. It’s not just the iPhone, Macbooks scoop up data too.

While Steve Jobs‘ claims that he does not spy on users’ movements, it is starting to look like the cargo-cult has been making conscious steps to gather and store personal data on people who own its iPhone.

The Wall Street Journal has now found that the iPhone is collecting and storing location information even when location services are turned off. Google also collects data too, the Journal said.

According to a test conducted by the Journal, the location data is collected using mobile phone towers and Wi-Fi access points near a user’s phone. While it is less accurate than GPS data it seems that Apple wanted to make sure it knew where its phones were even when location services are turned off.

The Journal disabled location services and immediately recorded the data that had initially been gathered by the phone. The Journal then carried the phone to new locations. Over several hours as the phone was moved, it continued to collect location data from new places.

These data included coordinates and time stamps; however, the coordinates were not from the exact locations that the phone traveled, and some of them were several miles away. The phone also didn’t indicate how much time was spent in a given location.

The only thing that might have saved Apple from a large public outcry would have been if it encrypted the data. However Apple’s reality distortion field means that the company believes that its faith in Steve Jobs will keep hackers away. So the file is unhidden and unencrypted for for whoever wants it.

Apple has decided to insist that Android does the same thing, the problem is that it doesn’t and the location files which are temporarily stored on the phone are well hidden.