updated 04:05 pm EDT, Tue September 30, 2008
iPhone history security
A feature inherent to the iPhone's graphical interface may pose a threat to users' privacy, reports claim. A data forensics expert, Jonathan Zdziarski, notes that iPhones can automatically capture a screenshot of every recent action performed by a person, such as checking e-mail or visiting a website. The images are said to be necessary only on a cosmetic basis, used to create the illusion of a window shrinking and disappearing when the Home button is tapped.
While it is suggested that an iPhone may keep only the most recent image in memory, Zdziarski observes that this still represents a concern, mainly due to the existence of data recovery tools. By examining the deleted sectors of an iPhone's memory, it should be possible to reconstruct images, which can then be exploited to trace a person's behavior or view potentially sensitive information.
Similar techniques are regularly used by police and security agencies, which attempt to salvage photos, messages and browser caches running months into the past. The iPhone flaw is said to be just one more avenue of investigation for these groups, but may also add to security problems should a phone be stolen.