New iPhone app keeps an eye on users, including teleworkers

iKeyGuard can track keystrokes and locations, but two scientists say the smart phone monitors users' whereabouts without software and it's not secure

(Editor's note: This article was updated to reflect the fact that the iKeyGuard is being offered by a third-party and is not endorsed by Apple)

Controversial keystroke recording/logging software as a Big Brother-type tool to monitor teleworkers is by no means a new concept. But now a new iKeyGuard application, offered by a third party, is billed as the first and only app of its kind and available for iPhone, iPad and iPod devices. The iPhone Download Blog highlights it as an “archival” tool to keep an eye on employees, your kids and even your spouse. Apple does not endorse the app.

“Other than bragging rights for your 120-word-per-minute mad typing skills, why would you care?” writes Josh Sawislak on his TeleworkExchange.com blog in response to the notion of recording one’s key movement. “Well, my good friends, it seems that there is a belief among some people -- let’s call them keystrokers -- that this is an excellent way to make sure you are working when you are not in the office,” he adds.

Meanwhile, two scientists have discovered that the iPhone is also tracking your every move via a file named consolidated.db, which acts like a Global Positioning System device. Researchers say the iPhone file contains information about where you go and then stores the unencrypted, unprotected data on another machine that syncs up with your phone, reports ReadWriteWeb. Data is compiled in a longitude- and latitude-type format complete with timestamps, according to RWW. Details of the discovery were scheduled to be presented April 20 at the Where 2.0 conference.

About the Author

Alysha Sideman is the online content producer for Washington Technology.

Reader Comments

Tue, Apr 26, 2011 JohnA Herndon, VA

1) This is old news... 2) It is recording cell tower and wifi locations, not GPS coordinates 3) A backup when synching with itunes copies this file along with all files - to your PC. There isn't any attempt to copy just this file.

Fri, Apr 22, 2011

The odd thing is, nobody at Apple cares where you or I are, only where "they" are, the statistical collective of not so poor schlubs who bought Apple stuff - so the marketeers can figure out how to social engineer us into buying more Apple stuff, or selling the information to somebody else who wants to ring our Pavlovian stuff bell.

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 Kevin Bruce

I'm an Apple fan, and even I say they really need to cut that crap out. That IS Big Brother tactics. The funny thing is that Apple doesn't endorse the keystroker, but it has the location tracking DB?!

Thu, Apr 21, 2011

Kinda makes me glad that I'm too low on the food chain for fancy toys like that...

Thu, Apr 21, 2011

Sound like an infringement on your rights, someone really needs to look at this and bring some civil rights against them. Someone really needs to slap the crap out of Apple. Me personnally stay away from it, not just for that reason but because, just like Microsoft it wants to be territorail in what you buy and do....who's watching BIG BROTHER!!!

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