Apple Tracking iPhone IMEI?

Yesterday, Dan over at Uneasy Silence discovered a URL embedded into two iPhone applications, which includes your iPhone’s equipment ID. The two iPhone applications are the Stocks and the Weather widgets.

It appears that the URL contacts Apple servers when you use these widgets and it doesn’t return any data, thus indicating that it could be used by Apple for tracking purpose.

As per Wikipedia, the IMEI number is used by the GSM network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used to stop a stolen phone from accessing the network. For example, if a mobile phone is stolen, the owner can call his or her network provider and instruct them to "ban" the phone using its IMEI number. This renders the phone useless, regardless of whether the phone’s SIM is changed.

So it is still left to your own interpretation as to why Apple would be tracking it or at least we get a clarification from Apple to let iPhone users know the reason behind the URL and the need for it to contact Apple servers.

I don’t believe it is something to be worried about "Don’t think its Evil" but it is always nice to know from a privacy point of view, what all is being tracked and the reason for it even though I might have agreed to Apple collecting data in the end user agreement.

Any guesses?

[Source & image via Uneasy Silence]

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  • banker

    The stock widget is offering market data from stock exchanges. Despite the delay of the data most exchanges require vendors / websites to sign agreements on how and to whom that data will be offered / redistributed. Some even charge for delayed data. That whole mess was introduced by the US exchanges more than 15 years ago. Most exchanges followed. Apple or their service provider (Yahoo) might be required to track who get's to see that data to fullfil their contracts with the exchanges.


  • LGggek

    I might buy the stock explanation but don't think that checking the weather would fall into this category. Apple's history of snooping on it's customers (widget advisory,etc) leaves most people distrustful of it. If this was no big thing why didn't apple just disclose it?


    Do I have to have a credit card to download free downloads from < ul > app store and iTunes?

    Also… can I underline, bold or italicize my text messages or emails ok iPhone?




    What does it mean when it says"too many redirects"
    when downloading.

      thank you


    How can I get clearer utube videos. It looks all blurry and my original iPhone was more clear. I have a iPhone 3g now, before it was just a normal iPhone. It was dropped in water once

      could that be the cause of blurry utube viewing?

  • GetinAir

    Yep that the reason, because you dropped it in water it’s like looking through an aquarium now.

  • ReLlz

    wat i want to kno is can the freakin device be pin pointed/located so it can be returned to its owner and the jackass that stole it arrested?
    cus if apple can bill and locate the darn device they should be able to reveal the wearabouts to the police and inform them that it has been found and the return is highly desired by its owner… >=/