If your mobile device has Wi-Fi enabled, the device's previous location may be listed on the Web, CNET reported this week.
Google publishes the estimated location of millions of iPhones, laptops, and other devices with Wi-Fi connections, the latest twist in a series of revelations this year about wireless devices and privacy. Android phones with location services enabled regularly beam the unique hardware IDs of nearby Wi-Fi devices back to Google, a similar practice followed by Microsoft, Apple, and Skyhook Wireless as part of each company's effort to map the street addresses of access points and routers around the globe.
Only Google and Skyhook Wireless, however, make their location databases linking hardware IDs to street addresses publicly available on the Internet, which raises novel privacy concerns when the IDs they're tracking are mobile. If someone knows your hardware ID, he may be able to find a physical address that the companies associate with you--even if you never intended it to become public.
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