It seems that Apple is not the only mobile phone company that has been grabbing data from users without them knowing. The Wall Street Journal has reported that Android smartphones are collecting the same kind of data as Apple has been recording on their iOS devices and then uploading the information back to Google.
Security analyst Samy Kamkar told the site that the HTC Android phone that he had been using has been grabbing location information and sending the data back to Google numerous times an hour, something the company allows users to opt-out of during setup. It also transmitted the name, location, and signal strength of Wi-Fi networks that were nearby, along with the phones unique identifier information.
This is not the first time that Google has been accused of recording data without the user knowing, the company had to deal with a major Wi-Fi privacy scandal last year when the company said that private data was being accidentally captured by rogue code left in its Street View vehicles.
Apple meanwhile, has been caught recording the position of your iPhone and 3G iPad devices ever since the release of iOS 4 in July 2010. They found that the devices save the position of your device in a hidden file named “consolidated.db” by means of recording the latitude-longitude coordinates with the addition of a timestamp.
Despite there being numerous reports stating that iOS devices were recording location data even as early as last year, privacy watchdogs have only just started to demand answers from Apple. Meanwhile, Google has chosen not to comment on the matter.
Update: An additional article on The Guardian website talks about how they believe both Apple and Google are now using their mobile devices to build up huge databases for location-based services.