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[Ars]Android phones keep location cache too, but it's harder to access

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
After this week's disturbing revelation that iPhones and 3G iPads keep a log of location data based on cell tower and WiFi base station triangulation, developer Magnus Eriksson set out to demonstrate that Android smartphones store the exact same type of data for its location services. While the data is harder to access for the average user, it's as trivial to access for a knowledgeable hacker or forensics expert.

On Wednesday, security researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden revealed their findings that 3G-capable iOS devices keep a database of location data based on cell tower triangulation and WiFi basestation proximity in a file called "consolidated.db." The iPhone, as well as 3G-equipped iPads, generate this cache even if you don't explicitly use location-based services. This data is also backed up to your computer every time it is synced with iTunes. Warden wrote an application which can find, parse, and map the location data on a user's computer if the iOS device backups are not optionally encrypted.
Source

Android keeps less data though, and for a shorter period of time

Quote:
Another important difference, according to developer Mike Castelman, is that Android keeps less data overall than iOS devices. "The main difference that I can see is that Android seems to have a cache versus iOS's log,"

Edited by srsdude - 4/22/11 at 3:42pm
post #2 of 15
Figured.....
    
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post #3 of 15
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Looks like all cell phones record this data..
post #4 of 15
Oh so its alright then...
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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by srsdude View Post
Looks like all cell phones record this data..
That shouldn't make a difference. What should be expected and demanded from both Google and Apple at this point is an official patch that allows a user full control over this "feature".

I'd suggest calling up your service provider to complain about this; I'm planning on it tonight. They stand to benefit from this data harvesting about as much as we do, so if people start making a ruckus we might get something done.
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post #6 of 15
I think our network providers have been storing this for years, just 'cos we can delete it on our end....
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post #7 of 15
Google asks you if you want to use this when you set up the phone. Right after you enter your google account it asks you if you want to send anonymous data.

In addition, Android will inform you explicitly if an app has access to location data.
    
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post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgtbash View Post
Oh so its alright then...
I had the same reaction.
But nathris is right here. Many people miss stuff like this. I personally don't like cellphones doing this, just as I'm sure many others don't.
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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by nathris View Post
Google asks you if you want to use this when you set up the phone. Right after you enter your google account it asks you if you want to send anonymous data.

In addition, Android will inform you explicitly if an app has access to location data.
But..but... i thought i was supposed to panic

Most people wouldn't know this because they blindly keep pushing "yes" or "accept" without reading anything.
    
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post #10 of 15
it is google' fault

and android phones will be more dangerous because mostly it is powered by google
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