Privacy alert: Every smartphone's sensors record data in slightly different ways, and those differences are substantial enough to be measured and used to identify the device.

That warning comes via security researcher Hristo Bojinov, a computer science Ph.D. candidate at Stanford University who's been working with a team of researchers to test whether the sensors inside smartphones might pose a privacy risk, the San Francisco Chronicle first reported.

To date, the Stanford researchers have discovered that the accelerometers built into smartphones, which measure device acceleration and orientation -- used, for example, by the operating system to rotate displays -- don't all record reality in quite the same way.

For example, when a smartphone is resting flat on a tabletop, the reading generated by the accelerometer -- which measures acceleration along the Z-axis, which in this example would be a line rising perpendicularly from the smartphone -- should be -1 when it's lying face up, or +1 when lying face down. But in reality, a face-down device generates a Z-axis measurement that's more akin to 1.00281308281. Read full story on InformationWeek


Post a comment to the original version of this story on InformationWeek