Location Privacy and Android
When Apple users learned that Apple records their whereabouts to a file on their iPhone and synced to their iTunes computer, outrage spread through the mobile community. Soon afterward, Android users learned that the Android privacy Google provides also allows the stealthy tracking of users. Wired reports that Android phones send location data directly to Google several times per hour.
Google also uses Android to locate recently used towers and save the information to a file. This means that anyone can uncover its owner's recent activities. This means that Google probably knows the whereabouts of any Android phone and presumably its owner. Although Wired says that Android data collected by Google has a random number attached, some suggest that Google can easily identify to which user the data belongs.
Two Android users filed a class-action lawsuit against Google over Android tracking, but the case seems powerless to end the practice. Google says that users can turn off at least some of the data collection features of Android. However, when users disagree with Google data collection, some location-based apps do not work.
Major discoveries like these highlight how mobile users must expose themselves in exchange for the privilege of using a modern phone.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Sertion