Funny you ask, because I just left an Android talk at Google’s offices here in NYC.
Sorry, this is the only souvenir I have.
Now, my opinion about Android’s safety should be taken with a grain of salt… I’m just a Java developer who manages a team that builds apps for Android, iPhone, and a few other platforms.
So, yes, apps can easily track your geo-location after you “exit” them. Unless of course you get a special “Process Killer” app, which might of course be malware itself.
Yes, if you give an app certain kinds of access, the app can pretty much get any and all information inside of your phone, but only when it’s on, of course :). You can identify those apps by looking at the description of the permission which pretty much says what I just said. It kind of reminds me of Facebook apps’ “Access to your data at any time.”
Is Google’s Android OS less secure than the iPhone or Blackberry OS? Not necessarily. iPhone and Blackberry’s OS have their own slate of vulnerabilities, but their slates are alot different from Android’s. But that’s another blog for another time.