Your Phone Reveals Your Location Regardless of Privacy Settings

Your Phone Reveals Your Location Regardless of Privacy Settings

New research is showing that even if you’ve taken steps to lock down your phone from sharing your location on places like Facebook, Twitter and other apps, it’s still quite possible for someone to track you with your phone.

Accelerometers, sensors used to track movement of smartphones, are used in countless apps, including pedometers, playing games and monitoring sleep. Research from the University of Illinois’ Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering found that minuscule imperfections during the manufacturing process create a unique ‘fingerprint’ on the generated data.

The gathered data can be used to identify you as it is sent to the cloud for processing, bypassing privacy settings concerning the withholding of location data and with no need to discern your phone number or SIM card number, leaving you potentially vulnerable to cyber attack.

The best part is, there’s no law about having to get consent before collecting and using that data—well, past the Constitution itself, but no one cares about that anymore, right?  If researchers found it, you can bet the NSA already knew.

“Just by looking at the data, we can tell you which device it’s coming from. It’s almost like another identifier,” said graduate student Nirupam Roy, who worked on the project. “Even if you erase the app in the phone, or even erase and reinstall all software, the fingerprint still stays inherent. That’s a serious threat.”[emphasis added]

Throwing my phone in the river is sounding better all the time.

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2 Comments
  • Deanna Fisher says:

    And this is why I still have a “stupid” cell phone.

  • VALman says:

    I’m going in for carrier pigeons myself. They’ll be cross-bred with Chicken Hawks. That away they they will not only carry messages, they attack any drones that get in their way!

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