Amid rising scrutiny of their practices, Google Inc. defended the way it collects location data from Android phones, while Apple Inc. remained silent for a third day.The companies' smartphones regularly transmit locations back to Google and Apple servers, respectively, according to data and documents analyzed by The Wall Street Journal.Research by a security analyst this week found that an Android phone collected location data every few seconds and sent it to Google several times an hour. Apple disclosed in a letter to Congress last year that its phones "intermittently" collect location data, and the company receives it twice a day.
Twice a day is pretty darn consistent, and way more than what makes sense. And then we have a nice about-face in facts from Google, which further clouds the issue. Users can allow their location to be used for certain services, such as GPS mapping. Sharing that information and sending it back so it can be recorded are two different things.
He added that "any location data that is sent back to Google location servers is anonymized and is not tied or traceable to a specific user."
Tests of the Android phone showed the transmissions included a unique ID that is tied to the phone. Google says this ID is associated with location and not with other user information. The user can change this number by performing a "factory reset" of the device, which deletes the phone's data.
So if you want to use programs that can use your location, you can't trust your phone to share it anonymously, or in a way that isn't recorded. And you are perfectly welcome to reset it to factory settings because that's logical. Jerks.