Code at http://samy.pl/androidmap
I discovered that both the Apple iPhone and Google Android phones constantly send geolocation/GPS and wifi router information back up to Apple and Google. The iPhone does this even when the user has chosen to turn GPS/Location Services off. Since my release of this research, Apple and Google have both testified in front of Congress and are now involved in various lawsuits due to potential invasion of privacy. Besides the companies tracking the locations of all of these phones, I've created a tool that exposes not only the GPS data, but the wifi data Google has been collecting from virtually all Android devices and street view cars, using them essentially as global wardriving machines. When the phone detects any wireless network, encrypted or not, it sends the BSSID (MAC address) of the router along with signal strength, and most importantly, GPS coordinates up to the mothership. My tool allows you to ping that database and find exactly where any wifi router in the world is located. You can enter any router BSSID/MAC address to locate the exact physical location of the router. Try it here.
posted on april 21, 2011