“Many functions on Apple’s wildly popular iPhone and iPad rely on users’ physical locations to deliver services like real-time maps, and location-based social networking and commercial offerings.

However, unbeknownst to most users, the devices are storing that information in a hidden file, two British researchers announced Wednesday at the Where 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, Calif., 72 kilometers (45 miles) south of San Francisco.

“There is still the question of when Apple gets access to this data, if ever,” Gus Hosein, the deputy director of the London-based advocacy group, Privacy International, told Deutsche Welle. “Apple seriously screwed up here. It’s time we start keeping an eye on what all these smart phone operating systems are doing. I don’t know how, but over the years, location data has suddenly become fair game.””

From Deutsche Welle