iPhones are surprisingly active in the middle of the night, according to a report by Washington Post Technology writer, Geoffrey Fowler.
Fowler tracked his iPhone’s activity recently, finding that dozens of companies were receiving information at all hours.
On a recent Monday night, a dozen marketing companies, research firms and other personal data guzzlers got reports from my iPhone. At 11:43 p.m., a company called Amplitude learned my phone number, email and exact location. At 3:58 a.m., another called Appboy got a digital fingerprint of my phone. At 6:25 a.m., a tracker called Demdex received a way to identify my phone and sent back a list of other trackers to pair up with.
And all night long, there was some startling behavior by a household name: Yelp. It was receiving a message that included my IP address -— once every five minutes. –WaPo
Also not lost on Fowler was the irony of a January Apple advertisement which claimed “What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone.”
With the help of privacy firm Disconnect, Fowler encountered over 5,400 trackers in just one week – mostly within apps, that send his information to third party companies. Over the course of a month, the unwanted trackers were on track to upload 1.5 gigabytes of data.
“This is your data. Why should it even leave your phone? Why should it be collected by someone when you don’t know what they’re going to do with it?” said former NSA researcher Patrick Jackson who is currently Disconnect’s chief technology officer. Jackson used special software to analyze Fowler’s iPhone.
Patrick Jackson, chief technology officer for Disconnect, hooked columnist Geoffrey A. Fowler’s iPhone into software so they could examine the personal data flowing out of the phone. (James Pace-Cornsilk/The Washington Post)
“I know the value of data,