Software Technology

LEAKAGE OF LOCATION DATA IN ANDROID PHONES

Written by Sean Holmes

An important news has broken out for those of you who use Android devices which are less than three years old. There is a good chance that your phone could be broadcasting your location even when it is turned off and the Wi-Fi is not connected. This can allow any hacker or malicious user to listen to these signals and find out your location.

What is this problem all about?

They can find out your location by examining the names of the Wi-Fi networks that your phone connected with. This can help stalkers to know where your home, office or any other place that you frequently visit is located. This new problem that has arisen seems to be more harmful and hazardous than the previous incidents of data location leaks. This is because in the past eavesdroppers had to find out a particular location by using latitudes and longitudes. But now they can easily look up the names of the Wi-Fi connection and extract all the information pertaining to it, even when the name of a Wi-Fi network seems difficult to identify.

Google’s reply to this issue

Google is very concerned about this issue because this could now seriously risk the safety and privacy of the Android users. In an attempt to protect all Android users temporarily they have now created a patch which can fix this issue and it is expected to be released soon. Although Google is trying its best to fix this issue there are certain things that you can do as a user in order to protect yourself.

How can you protect yourself as a user?

To prevent your phone from unnecessarily updating location, go to the “Advanced Wi-Fi settings” on your phone. In this you will find the “Keep Wi-Fi on during sleep”. Change it to “Never”. But doing so will increase your phone’s data usage and power consumption. Inspite of doing this, your privacy only improves marginally.

The only way that this problem can be solved is if Google comes up with a fix that can prevent this leaking of location information. In the past, Google has faced many security issues and each time they have resolved the issue. Hence you can rely on Google and believe that they will deliver.

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Sean Holmes

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