iPhone and Android users face many companies who want to know where they are
The disclosure of a hidden file on iPhones late last month drew an outcry because it seemed to record users’ every move. But that isn’t the only way mobile phone users’ movements are being tracked.
In addition to the location data collected by Apple (AAPL), as well as Google and other companies, wireless carriers have detailed records of their customers’ movements based on the cell towers their phones connect to. But privacy advocates most worry about the vast amounts of data collected by the fast-growing and largely unregulated industry of application providers and mobile marketers, who increasingly ask for and gain access to consumers’ locations — yet typically offer little information about how they use that data.
“You have lots and lots of companies with no controls around them using sensitive information about you,” said Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy at the Center for Democracy and Technology, an advocacy group. “They don’t have to tell you how long they’re keeping (your location information), what they’re using it for or who they’re sharing it with."
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