Categories: Общая Date: Apr 29, 2014 Title: How your phone is revealing your location, regardless of privacy settingsHow your phone is revealing your location, regardless of privacy settings
Sensors in smartphones collect data which can be used to identify you and pinpoint your location, regardless of your privacy settings, study finds
Your phone may be revealing your location and identity without your permission
By Rhiannon Williams
Data gathered by smartphone sensors can be used to identify you, pinpoint your location and monitor your phone, irrespective of your privacy settings, new research has found.
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.
“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.”
There are no regulations mandating consent regarding data generated by accelerometers, and the research team believe other sensors in the phone, including cameras, microphones and gyroscopes, could process the same kind of information.