Recently, several news story broke telling iPhone and Droid users that their phones have been tracking their geographic location and transmitting it back to Apple and Google, respectively. This made some users... uneasy.

Apple claims their iPhones send their GPS information and Wi-Fi hotspots information every 12 hours to Apple. On the other hand, Google smart phones sends this same information several times an hour. Both providers access this information when users activate an application that requires GPS location and other , and this information can be sent to a 3rd party without the users consent or knowledge.

Now, both providers claim that all this information is completely anonymous and is protected on their databases through various encryptions and firewalls. However, in the case of Google, a known computer hacker, who has been convicted and served his punishment for hacking, has found out otherwise. Google claims that all information is anonymous and they delete all start and end points when user use the Map Application. Samy Kamkar, 25, claims that the phones send all previously listed information as well as a unique phone identifier. Meaning, Google would be able to track every individuals movement history.

Apple is also guilty of keeping tabs on this information. Two researchers found a file on all iPhones that records the location of the phone and when it was there. This file is unencrypted and saved by default on all iPhones. However, the researchers found now evidence that this abundance of personal information was being sent to Apple.

In this age of social media, our permanent connection to one-another and constant connection to the internet, raises many more issues that were never possible before. It is now possible for our cell phone providers to follow anyone's location at any time, if they so choose. This raises huge ethical questions and privacy issues, and will probably require some government intervention by instilling some sort of regulatory commission and procedural rules for handling this information. This is very private and personal information and must be protected from any persons with negative intentions. This is a new era, and we live in a new time with new technological issues that will require constant observance.

Will knowing that this information is being recorded and cataloged "anonymously" change your opinion or use of smart phones?