In fact, no maybe about it. They are.
It’s scary to think, but there it is, in the Wall Street Journal:
Google and Apple are gathering location information as part of their race to build massive databases capable of pinpointing people’s locations via their cellphones. These databases could help them tap the $2.9 billion market for location-based services—expected to rise to $8.3 billion in 2014, according to research firm Gartner Inc.
In the case of Google, according to new research by security analyst Samy Kamkar, an HTC Android phone collected its location every few seconds and transmitted the data to Google at least several times an hour. It also transmitted the name, location and signal strength of any nearby Wi-Fi networks, as well as a unique phone identifier.
Google declined to comment on the findings.
- Apple, Google Receive Phone Users’ Locations (online.wsj.com)
- Apple Receives iPhone Location Data (online.wsj.com)
- It’s not just the iPhone, Android stores your location data too (thenextweb.com)
- Samsung Files Suits Against Apple (online.wsj.com)