On iOS, Facebook knows where you are, even disabled GPS


A new survey by Mysk, to whom we already owe explosive revelations on the clipboard, has demonstrated that Facebook uses the data collected by the accelerometer of your iPhone to measure your behavior discreetly. And this even though the social network had recently confirmed to Forbes collect data such as geolocation despite ATT *.

What possible uses?

Using the accelerometer, an iPhone in your pocket can tell potential advertisers whether you’re lying down, sitting in a chair in front of your computer, or playing sports. Cycling and walking in fact cause repetitive movements that are easily detectable, which can then be transcribed into sharp profiling to pay attention to services such as Strava and the apps associated with it.

The accelerometer is also capable of playing the role of a pedometer thanks to some rather clever algorithmic calculations, even though the sensor specifically dedicated to the counting of steps is nevertheless protected. Perfect for an app like PeakVisor, which seeks to identify targets used to hiking.

GPS position

Worse: the survey report also ensures that via an ingenious system of comparison with other Internet users, your iPhone is able to communicate the exact location of your presence to Facebook. The following scenario clearly illustrates the process in question:

  1. you board a train, along with several other passengers
  2. you open Facebook, but still forbidding it to access your GPS position
  3. some passengers grant the reading of their GPS position to Facebook
  4. at each stop and each change of speed of the train, their accelerometer measures the same statistics
  5. when these are compared by Facebook to its global user base, your accelerometer data then matches and the app knows you’re on the same train!
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Health too …

Finally, always according to the information of Myst, other extensive background operations convert the numbers recorded by the accelerometer into real medical clues. This is for example the case with the frequency of the heartbeat or even human respiration.

*app tracking transparency


By: Facebook, Inc.

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