Wi-Fi access point scans can betray a person’s location

Many Android applications collect information on Wi-Fi access points, which researchers contend can be used to figure out where a person is more than 90 percent of the time.

The privacy implications of Wi-Fi access point scanning is often overlooked but presents a risk if the information is abused, according to the study, written by the Technical University of Denmark, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Copenhagen.

Wi-Fi information isn’t considered location data, and Android applications such as Candy Crush Saga, Pandora and Angry Birds routinely collect it.

This makes it possible for third party developers to collect high-resolution mobility data under the radar, circumventing the policy and the privacy model of the Android ecosystem,” wrote Sune Lehmann, an associate professor at DTU Informatics at the Technical University of Denmark, in a blog post.

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Wi-Fi access point scans can betray a person’s location

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