Leading article: A spy in our pockets

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The Independent Online

Not so much iPhone as iSpy. It turns out that the ubiquitous Apple smartphone comes with an application that it did not care to advertise: it uses its GPS technology to keep a record of the user's movements.

The researchers who discovered this feature point out that it could be used by jealous spouses or private detectives in ways that the phone's owner might not be particularly happy about. Of course, the feature could also, theoretically, help the absent-minded (or hard-drinking) iPhone owner remember where they were the night before. But the reaction of most people to this news will probably not be to look on the positive side. The idea of "Big Brother in your pocket" is unlikely to be the basis of Apple's next advertising campaign.

Yet it will be interesting to see whether even this revelation will be able to dent the iPhone's huge popularity. There has been unfortunate publicity attached to the device in the past – reception problems, faulty software – but with no appreciable affecton sales.

Psychiatrists in Taiwan claim to have identified an "iPhone Addiction Disorder". If the device can ride out this spying storm unscathed, the world might have to concede that they are on to something.