The tiny imperfections in each smartphone's sensors leave a unique fingerprint in its shared data (Image: Shutterstock)
An example of how a phone's fingerprint could be used to track its user
The researchers' accelerometer-testing setup
Security-conscious smartphone users may decline apps' requests to "use your current location," but according to research conducted at the University of Illinois, doing so still doesn't mean that those users can't be tracked. This is because each phone's sensors – such as the accelerometer – have a unique "fingerprint." By identifying that fingerprint in sensor data sent from the phone, third parties could at the very least keep track of what the user is doing at what time.
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