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  1. japark's Avatar
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       #1  
    In light of the information that the iPhone and iPad maintain a file tracking the location of the devices (even when GPS is turned off) and reports that Google Android devices maintain a tracking log when GPS is on, is there any such tracking log on WebOS? If there is, is it limited to when GPS is on or does it track even when GPS is off?

    I suspect that WebOS is better that Apple in this area, but the question should be answered if anyone can answer it.
  2. #2  
    Quote Originally Posted by japark View Post
    In light of the information that the iPhone and iPad maintain a file tracking the location of the devices (even when GPS is turned off) and reports that Google Android devices maintain a tracking log when GPS is on, is there any such tracking log on WebOS? If there is, is it limited to when GPS is on or does it track even when GPS is off?

    I suspect that WebOS is better that Apple in this area, but the question should be answered if anyone can answer it.
    See if only because of Synergy, I would suspect that WebOS would be "worse" (if that's how we are going to label it). At any rate, the TOS for all the major phone OSs give them very broad rights.

    FYI: The Pre Reports Your Location to Palm | PreCentral.net | The #1 Palm Pre and Pixi Community

    One is better off not using a smart phone account if one has privacy concerns.
  3. japark's Avatar
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       #3  
    The link appears to limit Palm/HP to using GPS data when GPS is turned on and GPS location information is needed.

    It does not address my question: Is a file maintained on a WebOS device with a location history? If so, is it limited to location information when GPS is on or does it contain location history even when GPS is turned off?

    I certainly understand the Sprint, for example, needs to know where my phone is when I am using Sprint navigation. I understand that to deliver text messages and voice calls, my carrier needs to know the location of my phone. Neither Palm/HP nor Sprint needs to maintain a history of the location of my device. My question is, does WebOS maintain a location history file and what is in that file if there is one.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by japark View Post
    I understand that to deliver text messages and voice calls, my carrier needs to know the location of my phone.
    This doesn't sound right to me. There is no real need to know where the phone is to send a message, rather the phone needing to find a tower that is close. It would use IP addresses and MAC addresses to deliver the messages, which are logical not physical.
    Palm Pre Plus, running webOS 2.1.0 at 1GHz. Palm Pre 2, running webos 2.1.0 at 1.4GHz

  5. japark's Avatar
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       #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by ProParkour View Post
    This doesn't sound right to me. There is no real need to know where the phone is to send a message, rather the phone needing to find a tower that is close. It would use IP addresses and MAC addresses to deliver the messages, which are logical not physical.
    When Sprint wants to connect me to a caller or deliver a text message, the call or text must be sent to a tower in my range to which I am connected. If Sprint does not know where my phone is, it cannot deliver the call or text.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by japark View Post
    It does not address my question: Is a file maintained on a WebOS device with a location history? If so, is it limited to location information when GPS is on or does it contain location history even when GPS is turned off?

    I certainly understand the Sprint, for example, needs to know where my phone is when I am using Sprint navigation. I understand that to deliver text messages and voice calls, my carrier needs to know the location of my phone. Neither Palm/HP nor Sprint needs to maintain a history of the location of my device. My question is, does WebOS maintain a location history file and what is in that file if there is one.
    The carrier does not need to maintain a file with location history on-device, they can just have it on their own servers.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/26/bu...26privacy.html

    This was a German telco collecting location information, but as said in the article:

    In the United States, telecommunication companies do not have to report precisely what material they collect, said Kevin Bankston, a lawyer at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, who specializes in privacy. He added that based on court cases he could say that “they store more of it and it is becoming more precise.”
  7. japark's Avatar
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       #7  
    The carrier does not need to maintain a file with location history on-device, they can just have it on their own servers.
    Yes. I know that the carrier does not have to place that information on the phone. The amount of information the carrier maintains, how long it maintains it and how secure it is on the carrier's servers is a separate issue.

    The question remains, do WebOS devices maintain a tracking file? If they do, is the file limited to GPS data (nil when GPS is off) or does is contain position information independent of GPS?

    If there is such a file, can the user delete the file and block its use?
  8. #8  
    I saw a clip on the news last night, and yes it's funny that it's old news as I heard about this last week, here of course. The example they showed was some website somewhere where you could view the movements of your phone, if you knew how to find it.

    I tried searching for my own phone on Google, but couldn't find it.

    I have found a YouTube video HERE where you can set up your own website to track your phone in real-time.

    I am more interested in just finding out what has been tracked. I already have location services set to OFF, but didn't for awhile.

    I personally don't care if I've been tracked or not, but it would be interesting to see what sort of data has been collected.
    Due to the cancellation of the penny, I no longer give 2˘ about anything. I may however, give a nickel
  9. #9  
    <<threads merged>>
  10. japark's Avatar
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       #10  
    So apparently, the WebOS community doesn't know and HP isn't saying ...
  11. #11  
    sigh...

    1) your carrier always knows where you are. he knows what towers are near to you. but this "you" is your phone as a "phone". they cannot know whats inside your phone, there is no deeper linkage to the software on your device, they just need to know where you are for plain technical requirements that are very very basic to running a network for mobile devices based on a net of towers. there is huge security involved around this topic and you must trust your carrier to safely wipe or protect the data you produce just by having your phone turned on and wandering around. so there cannot be a discussion about the "existence" of the data but there might be a discussion when carriers will actually sell that data. but if you murder someone and the police knows your network id (phone number, mobile contract data) they can and will access the location data kept by your carrier to track you down and get you. if you switch the phone off or put it in "airplane mode" they cannot know where you are but they know where you left the network the last time.

    its pretty complicated for other companies to legally access that data kept by your carrier and in most cases it will be something like the cloud service requests the carrier to receive location data, the carrier will contact you and make sure that you allow this data to be shared with a third party.

    quite a hassle so there is a much easier way to circumvent legal issues and your carrier:

    2) your (smart-)phone (always) knows where you are (where it is). it is very doubtful that a dumbphone knows where you are aside from cryptic numbery of tower ids maybe deeply burried into some integrated circuit chips (but its still technically possible that the phone uses this data) but the smarter the phone gets the more likely (and desired to provide certain services) it is that the phone actually is "aware" of where it is. apart from the tower id it has gps and may access wifi location data. thats why it becomes important that there a databases about what wifi is where.

    so when the phone knows the location data these datas must be protected by YOU. if you have malware on the phone that collects that data and sends it anywhere its not the problem of and not even related to the carrier.

    a feature of an os that does that and uploads it without explicitely given permission by you is considered being malware by me too.

    there are "grey areas" within the issue: you may have a log file on the phone (and log files are very very common and normal as its "only" data on YOUR device) and all the sudden this logfile gets shipped somewhere because you do a backup or a "crash report" is "phoned home" to the vendor of the software that wrote the log, these datas may all the sudden leave your phone and "location related" datas might as well be included. by purpose or as "collateral data".

    as far as we know

    palm has access to certain data when you explicitely use location based services which required you to sign that "i accept" dialog when you ran the first use app (i think) and which require you to click "ok i know what i do" every time your location data is collected and given to somebody (by your phone). i think there is still a bit of a "grey area" because it is not clearly said how long the data will be collected and sent.

    as far as we know

    palm does not generally (always or without concrete requirement) collect these data the phone "might know about where it is itself".

    as far as we know

    palm cannot send those datas quietly anywhere because they (the generally collected) do not exist.


    but this is exactly what happened to the iphone. even when these datas are not sent away silently the issue is: they exist. they exist in a very easy to access manner. so every app which i would classify being malware as described above can access and send the data away in a very very very easy manner (as i understood it).

    so when we one day realize that palm does the same too (by mistake or not) i really hope that they ll get a huge smack on their *** because these private datas are sensible datas and when i use a palm phone including cloud services by palm i "trust" them like i have to trust the browser or email app on my desktop i type my password in every day.

    apple will get away with it saying "ooups, collateral damage" but once again right know i am glad i didnt trust them but palm instead.
  12. #12  
    Let me preface this by saying that I do not know with any certainty that webOS does or does not store location and tracking information locally. I have done some searching online and haven't found any confirmation either way.

    That being said, I think that since webOS is such an open operating system, if location information was stored locally, it would have been uncovered already by developers. If the independent developers were to identify a file that tracks this information, I think it would be very simple to apply a patch to correct the issue.

    I think this issue is an extremely important one to address. I can't think of any reason why this historical location information would need to be stored locally, but if it does, it should should be encrypted. If it is not encrypted, there are major privacy concerns. Consumer profiling being the largest.
  13. japark's Avatar
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       #13  
    That being said, I think that since webOS is such an open operating system, if location information was stored locally, it would have been uncovered already by developers.
    My thoughts have been that any such file would have been found by developers. But I could be wrong. Wish HP would comment.
  14. #14  
    webOS has been torn apart seven ways to sunday. People have dug around in the filesystem until they found easter eggs like cows in the email app (buggered if I know how you trigger the easter egg... but the images were found).

    I'm inclined to agree: if there was a tracking file, somebody would probably have found it and posted about it. Of course, you never know...

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