HTC Android Devices Screenshotting Your Browsing?

Tonight I was reading an interesting article on The Boy Genius Report about a curious quirk with the HTC Sense UI on the DROID Incredible. As it turns out, to display those neat previews of websites in the UI the browser is taking screenshots of the site. Doesn’t sound so unsurprising does it?

What is odd is the way that the phone is storing those screenshots for future reference. According to BGR, these screenshots are stored on the phone’s internal storage drive where they are easily viewed in any picture viewing application. What’s worse is they are NOT deleted if you do a full reset on the phone. Bit of a privacy concern should you sell the phone without deleting these files!

Android

This issue does not seem to be isolated to the HTC DROID Incredible either. I took at look on the memory card in my HTC Desire using the free ASTRO file browser and sure enough the same “.bookmark_thumb1” folder complete with a visual archive of my browsing history was present.

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So be warned, erasing your browsing history or even resetting the phone won’t completely remove the sites you’ve visited!

[from Boy Genius Report]

About the Author

Mitchell Oke
I'm currently a Producer at one of Australia's leading motoring news sites, always on the go with a camera in my hand. With a Bachelor of Creative Technology (Digital Video Production), I've worked for News Limited and as a freelancer for several years before taking on my current role. I love all gadgets and cars, always wanting to spend time with the latest and greatest of both. I'm a big fan of Top Gear, Star Trek and Seinfeld.

9 Comments on "HTC Android Devices Screenshotting Your Browsing?"

  1. Yep! Found it on my HTC Hero running 1.6 too!

  2. On the Eris running 2.1 as well, though, of course, it’s on SD, as the Eris lacks internal storage.

  3. Hmm. When you flash it with a privious update, doesn’t that clear them out? I bet it does.

    • No, it doesn’t replace them with a reflash. Flashing doesn’t touch SD card storage (or the equivalent on the Incredible). You need to either format the SD Card, attach to a PC and erase with the external storage mounted to the PC, or erase using a tool like Astro (which is the app in the first screenshot above.)

      Interestingly, I had two folders with web page thumbnail images in them on my SD Card. I’m not all that worried – there is nothing sensitive that I have surfed to on my phone – buy I ended up erasing them all anyway.

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  6. RT @GearDiarySite: HTC Android Devices Screenshoting Your Browsing? http://goo.gl/fb/XGkLH

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