Ars Technica follows up a story first reported by French site Mac4Ever about a third-party application developer for Apple’s iPhone. Mac4Ever reported being contacted by readers saying they had received phone calls from a company after downloading a free application from iTunes. When the readers asked how the company got their phone numbers, “the dialer said, most of the time, that Apple gives this kind of information, after an order on the AppStore.” After an investigation, Mac4Ever said, “it appears that programers [sic] are able to retreive the personnal [sic] iPhone’s user number, with one unique line of code! This data can then be sent to remote databases, which collect personnal [sic] information, without notifying the user.”
In January, Ars Technica detailed how individual phone numbers could be legally be accessed by iPhone application developers. Ars Technica said, “Just like any platform, the iPhone relies on a certain level of developer integrity (plus community policing) to stop security intrusions and overstepping information gathering.”
The application cited by Mac4Ever, a real-time traffic data app from French company mogo, has now been pulled from the Apple application store. Mogo says it did not use an illegal exploit, and “it collects the information via its own server and supposedly only collects Swiss mobile phone numbers, as the practice is apparently legal there,” reports Ars Technica.
Mogo is trying to get its application, mogoRoad, returned to the iPhone application store. Ars Technica points out that, “it’s important to note that the company hasn’t said that it will discontinue the practice. It seems a safe assumption that mogo has every intention to continue if the app gets reinstated.”
Read a previous post for more about how wired gadgets are affecting individual privacy.