Google tracked your location even when the location setting was turned off

22 November, 2017, 01:25 | Author: Becky Perry
  • TeroVesalainen  Pixabay

Asked about this by the website Quartz, Google admitted that it did indeed track such users, even if they had not used any apps on the phone.

It was found that this was due to the Google collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers and this data being sent back to the tech giant. A Google spokesperson says the company's push notification system is "distinctly separate from Location Services, which provide a device's location to apps". The company claims it did not put this information into the sync system though, which means it was allegedly discarded immediately. Additionally, the spokesperson said that it is "now taking steps to end the practice".

As a result, Google's parent company Alphabet whose original moto was "Don't be Evil, ' has access to consumer data that is at odds with users" privacy expectations.

Google says that devices will no longer collect or send this data after the end of November, Quartz reported.

This isn't the first time Google's run into issues where it's failed to clearly inform users on what kind of data it's collecting and how it's doing so, and it definitely won't be the last.

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Your Android smartphone could be tracking your every move, even when location services are switched off, it has emerged. Basically, they are in violation of the Malicious Behavior Policy provision which should inform users that the app they're using is tracking their location and behavior. Using multiple cell towers can determine a user's location from a quarter-mile radius to a more exact spot, depending on how close the cell towers are together. With location tracking, Google has always made it possible to opt out, but according to a new report, Android has been forcing location tracking on you whether you like it or not.

A cell-tower location sent to Google from an Android device. There is a lot that people can learn about you from your location data.

Cell-tower locations collected and sent to Google from an Android phone with location services turned off and carried in Washington, DC.

Google acknowledged that smartphones have been collecting cell tower addresses and sending the data to its servers for the past 11 months. In the case of devices that don't have a SIM card installed, location data is recorded and stored until a device is within Wi-Fi range.

Handsets running the Google-developed operating system collect information about where you have been, transmitting it back whenever they connect to the internet.


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