Examiners can draw a Google map of the route you took and the exact time you were there, down to the second using location data from an iPhone. The iPhone's location data is automatically captured by nearby cellphone towers and the carrier.
The data collection feature can only be stopped by turning off the phone's wireless transmit and receive features or setting the iPhone to airplane mode. However, the previously recorded data will still be there and will be recoverable. iPads use the same location tracking technology.
Even if you use the remote wipe feature, (which only works when he iPhone/iPad is turned on) there may be chance that some data could be recovered.
"Because examiners can use advanced forensic tools, the only way to assure that data is not readable in any form from any device, is to physically destroy the device," said Mark McLaughlin of Los Angeles based Computer Forensics International(CFI).
The company can make an exact copy of the phone's entire memory – which includes active and deleted data. Then the copy is searched either visually or by using keywords for relevant evidence to the case.
If you are involved in a legal case and try to delete the data on your iPhone, it could be considered spoliation of evidence.
This data examination can be a boon for attorneys and investigators working on civil and criminal cases. It could provide the corroboration to put a cheating spouse at a specific residence when they should have been at work. Or it could be used to tie individuals together in a criminal conspiracy where they otherwise couldn't be connected.
McLaughlin says, "This location data capture shouldn't be a problem for most iPhone owners. But if you're trying to hide where you've been, leave the iPhone at home."
Recently, security expert Robert Siciliano bought some used smartphones on Craigslist, although he couldn't recover data from iPhone or BlackBerry smartphones, he found some very naughty photos and damaging information on Android devices.