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