Google Android Smartphone Collecting Users Location Data, Reports a Researcher

Just a day before, diTii reported that Apple's iPhone has been recording and regularly transmitting user location data back to the company. It's now discovered that Google's Android smartphones are also capturing and transmiting users location data back to Google.According to a new research by security analyst Samy Kamkar, an HTC Android phone collected its […]

Just a day before, diTii reported that Apple's iPhone has been recording and regularly transmitting user location data back to the company. It's now discovered that Google's Android smartphones are also capturing and transmiting users location data back to Google.

According to a new research by security analyst Samy Kamkar, an HTC Android phone collected its location every few seconds and transmitted the data to Google at least several times an hour. It also transmitted the name, location and signal strength of any nearby Wi-Fi networks, as well as a unique phone identifier.

Cellphones have many reasons to collect location information, which helps provide useful services like local-business lookups and social-networking features. Some location data can also help cellphone networks more efficiently route calls.

Google also has said it uses some of the data to build accurate traffic maps. A cellphone's location data can provide details about, for instance, how fast traffic is moving along a stretch of highway.

This new form of tracking is raising questions from government officials and privacy advocates. On Wednesday, Rep. Markey sent a follow-up letter to Apple asking why the company is storing customer-location data on its phones.

Google declined to comment on the findings.

[Via: WSJ]