Robert Hampton

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25th April 2011

You (and they) know where you are with a smartphone

Interesting news emerged over the past few days that many smartphones collect data on the user’s location and store it in a hidden file, with the data being used to improve geographic targeting of adverts. The first revelations involved the iPhone, but Google’s Android software also does something similar.

The Register explained why such tracking could be harmful. Outside of technology circles, however, there has been a distinct lack of outrage. In a world where everyone (except me, apparently) is checking in on Foursquare or Facebook Places every two minutes, I suppose that shouldn’t surprise me.

Judging by the number of Tweets in my feed from mobile phones, which display completely inaccurate locations, the technology is far from perfect in any case.