OK, get ready to put your tin foil hat on. We have a conspiracy theory alert. But, as it turns out, this one isn’t so much a theory as the author has proof. It appears as if Apple is tracking IEMI numbers of all their Iphones. According to the blog Uneasy Silence, which broke the story:

As I sit here applying a new layer of Reynolds tin foil to my international hat of conspiracy, its been proven that Apple tracks iPhone usage and tracks IEMI numbers of all their iPhones worldwide. Hidden in the code of the “Stocks” and “Weather” widgets is a string that sends the IMEI of your phone to a specialized URL that Apple collects.

If you head on over to Wikipedia to see what this IEMI number is all about, you get:

The IMEI number is used by the GSM network to identify valid devices and therefore can be used to stop a stolen phone from accessing the network. For example, if a mobile phone is stolen, the owner can call his or her network provider and instruct them to “ban” the phone using its IMEI number. This renders the phone useless, regardless of whether the phone’s SIM is changed.

Interesting. Now, as Uneasy Silence points out, this is covered in Apple’s privacy policy. So, legally and technically, they are doing nothing wrong. But, for me, it’s just more crap on the pile on why I will not use the Iphone. Let’s see, they charge me full price for the phone, tell me what I can do with it, tie me to AT&T, actively try to stop me from running third-party apps, and on top of that programs things into the phone to track what I do with it.

I’m like my Mac, don’t get me wrong. But, I can’t imagine how Apple could have been more wrong on how they have handle their Iphone. I make exception to the design of the device, which is admittedly good and about the only good thing about it.

UPDATE: Gizmodo has apparently published another look that disproves the original claim. Definitely check it out.