Governance & Risk Management , Privacy

Hidden Files on iPhone Pose Risk

Interview with Attorney David Navetta
IT security and privacy lawyer David Navetta says revelations that mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Android maintain hidden files tracking users locations could pose a threat to organizations, regardless of whether the devices are owned by individual employees, the company or government agency for which they work.If an employee transfers the data to the employer's servers, and the computer is breached, information on the locations visited by the employee could be exposed. Navetta, a founder of the law firm Information Law Group, said in an interview with Information Security Media Group.

"[If it] relates to the person's location, maybe some sort of top secret meeting or a product developer at a certain location, it may reveal some sort of information about the organization," Navetta said. "Certainly, to the extent you can put the pieces together, it might reveal something of value, potentially, to someone who is trying to get to it."

In the interview, with ISMG's Eric Chabrow, Navetta addressed the:

  • Legality of these mobile devices to secretly track locations individuals visit.
  • Ability to subpoena records of places visited by individuals using the devices.
  • Security implications associated with a hacker accessing the data.

Privacy concerns have been raised by the revelation that Apple's iPhones and iPads record users' locations in hidden files stored on the devices. Published reports also say some versions of the Android device collect location information as well and store the data in hidden files.

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