Apple iPhone Takes Screenshots Without User Consent

September 29, 2008 by Victor · 1 Comment 

Security experts say they have found a hole in Apple iPhone which automatically takes a screenshot every time that you press the “Home” button, and that the images made can be retreived later. Of course, these screenshots are taken without the user’s consent and knowledge. This “feature” is not to be confused with the iPhone’s actual screenshot feature, which archives an image of the screen to the iPhone’s memory whenever you hold down the power/sleep button and push the Home button.

Apparently, the iPhone takes a screenshot every time you press the Home button in order to create the shirinking effect of the application window that was open when the button was pressed, bringing some insight into the way that the iPhone OS works. The iPhone is supposed to remove the screen capture file after the effect has been created. Nevertheless, the screenshots can be retrieved with special software that can analyze the memory of the iPhone for deleted files.

Jonathan Zdziarski, the security expert that discovered the flaw, said that this hole has been used by forensic experts to “gather evidence against criminals convicted of rape, murder or drug deals.”

While most people have nothing to worry about, this issue raises a privacy concern for those that do things on their iPhone that they wouldn’t want others to discover should the phone end up in the wrong person’s hands.

Screenshots, like the one above, are captured by the iPhone every time that the “Home” button is pressed by the user.

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