Of Course The FBI Has Your iPhone’s Unique Identifier

09.05.12 6 years ago 3 Comments

AntiSec’s latest leak is of, among other things, a list of Apple UDIDs, unique and distinct identifiers that are assigned to each iPhone. Previously they’ve gotten Apple in hot water for just letting anybody with an app cold access the UDID and send it around to anybody they please. So, yeah, the FBI probably has your UDID. So?

Let’s start with the most basic problem here: Even if the FBI does have this information, it’s not actually against the law. Oh, it’s against the law for the FBI to directly collect this information without a warrant. But it’s not against the law for the FBI, or any other federal agency, to buy information someone else has collected about you from Facebook.

In fact, government agencies do this all the time. Yep, if you marked somebody on Facebook as “We Hooked Up”, the government knows who you had sex with. Considering how free Apple was with your UDIDs, the FBI probably bought this information as part of a package deal.

This is pretty common. We hate to be cynical here, but the FBI and other law enforcement agencies collect lots of data because they never know when it’s going to be relevant to an investigation, and better to have it than not have it. Besides, people are literally giving this information away publicly.

Secondly, though, UDIDs are pretty much useless without all the app database information. It’s not a great thing for the FBI to have, mind you, but they weren’t exactly going to be able to track you tomorrow with your UDID. They have your phone’s GPS signal for that anyway.

Change your passwords, but don’t worry: The FBI will be tracking your every move some other way. Probably through your friend on Facebook!

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