Can History Be Tracked on an iTouch?

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The Apple iPod Touch keeps track of certain user behaviors, such as search engine browsing history, installed applications, Internet video viewing and photo downloads. Some websites treat searches from an iPod Touch in an identical fashion to computer traffic by storing cookies while the settings on the device itself keep the cache, or temporary Internet files. While users can turn off some of this functionality, they cannot block all traces of history from the device.

Internet History

  • The iPod Touch has a unique Internet Protocol address, or IP address, just as computers do. Thus, whenever the iPod Touch user logs on to the wireless Internet connection, a firewall or Internet service provider can track browsing traffic. Since the iPod Touch attaches to the same Internet Protocol address of the Wi-Fi host, browsing history is displayed the same way it is when users browse using a computer. According to Frederick Aviolo of Cisco Systems, some firewalls employ URL screening, which monitors browsed data from any device or computer currently accessing the Internet through the firewall. There is no way to turn off this screening from the iPod Touch itself.

Browsing History

  • The iPod Touch uses the Safari browser to allow users to access specific websites. Ipod Touch settings let users choose between assigning Google or Yahoo! as the default search engine. Google keeps search terms entered into the search field by default, while Yahoo! does not. Users can clear this browsing history by tapping the Google search field and selecting the "Clear History" command, found below previously searched terms. When users navigate to "Settings > Safari" from the iPod Touch home page, they can clear website history, cookies and cache to eliminate search trails on the device itself. Otherwise, the device keeps a list of all visited websites under the "Bookmarks > History" field in the Safari browser.

Download History

  • Each user's iTunes account keeps track of each application, movie, podcast and song users download. Whenever users install a new game or purchase, iTunes sends a receipt to the email address listed in the account, even if the download was free, and keeps a record of the purchase in the database. Whoever owns the email account has access to a list of downloaded materials.

Application History

  • Certain applications keep track of viewed materials. The iPod device has a special icon through which users can access youtube.com. When this icon is open, users can see YouTube viewing history by tapping the "More > History" command. If they do not want this listing present, they can tap the "Clear" button on the top right of the window to delete viewing history. Similarly, the Internet Movie Database application keeps a record of previously searched actors and movies. Users can clear their Internet Movie Database history by selecting "History > Clear History" from the Internet Movie Database application home page.

Photo Downloads

  • Whenever users download photos from an image search or application, the iPod Touch stores them on the hard drive under the "Photos > Saved Photos" directory. Users can manually delete photos on the device by tapping an individual picture, selecting the trash can icon and clicking "Delete Photo." They can also plug the device into the computer, open the photos directory using Windows Explorer and delete unwanted photos.

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