Rumor: HTC Sense UI devices experiencing browser privacy issue

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from Omaha, NE
Published: June 16, 2010

Sense UI browser issues

While many believe that HTC's Sense UI brings enhancements to the Android OS, it seems that Sense may bring some privacy issues, as well.  Boy Genius Report received a tip from a reader saying that his HTC DROID Incredible was taking periodic snapshots of his browsing habits and saving them.  This is a function of the Sense bookmarking widget and is well-documented.  The problem is that these images are saved even after the browser history is cleared and a full factory reset is performed.  Photos are stored in the .bookmark_thumb1 folder, located inside the emmc folder of the device's internal storage.  Since the JPEGs are stored on the internal storage, you would expect a factory reset to erase them, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  BGR says that it tested this on multiple DROID Incredibles and replicated the problem each time, and some commenters said the issue appeared with the HTC EVO 4G and DROID Eris, as well.  The images can be deleted manually, so we suggest you do so if you plan on getting rid of your device.  While the bookmarking widget is certainly a great feature of the Sense UI, the saved images can present a serious privacy issue.  If a user logs into their banking site or another page with personal information and then sells the device without removing the images, identity theft issues may arise.  It's surprising that HTC hasn't caught this issue, but now that they know about it hopefully a software update will be issued to correct the problem.  Are any of you Sense users noticing the problem with your device?

Via Boy Genius Report