From yesterday’s Guardian:
Smartphones running Google’s Android software collect data about the user’s movements in almost exactly the same way as the iPhone, according to an examination of files they contain. The discovery, made by a Swedish researcher, comes as the Democratic senator Al Franken has written to Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs demanding to know why iPhones keep a secret file recording the location of their users as they move around, as the Guardian revealed this week. Magnus Eriksson, a Swedish programmer, has shown that Android phones – now the bestselling smartphones – do the same, though for a shorter period. According to files discovered by Eriksson, Android devices keep a record of the locations and unique IDs of the last 50 mobile masts that it has communicated with, and the last 200 Wi-Fi networks that it has “seen”. These are overwritten, oldest first, when the relevant list is full. It is not yet known whether the lists are sent to Google. That differs from Apple, where the data is stored for up to a year.