Android Is Tracking You, Too

And sending your location back to Google a few times each hour
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 22, 2011 6:36 AM CDT
The HTC Desire, an Android-powered smartphone, is seen in this promotional photo.   (Business Wire)

(Newser) – Apple isn’t the only one tracking its users’ every move. Google’s Android OS does something very similar, a security analyst has found. The HTC Android phone he tested collected data on its current location every few seconds, transmitting it to Google several times an hour, the analyst tells the Wall Street Journal. The phone also keeps a lookout for the signal strength of any nearby Wi-Fi networks, and reports that info, too.

Google has acknowledged collecting such data in the past. It says it uses the location data to build accurate traffic maps—gathering info about current highway speed, for instance—but that it deletes the start and end point of each trip from its database. It also says the data is collected anonymously, but that’s not true, according to the security analyst; the data he provided the Journal came with an identifier unique to the individual phone.

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