Google admits tracking users' location even when setting disabled2017-11-22 16:54 by Daniela
A recent report reveals Android has been forcing location tracking on even if a user had chosen to turn it off. An investigation by Quartz discovered that smartphones and tablets running the Android operating system continued to track a user's general location even when location services were turned off, the phone didn't have a SIM card, and no apps were installed. As long as the device was connected to the internet, it transmitted the address of nearby cellphone towers back to Google's system that's used for push notifications and messages.
Android devices have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers since the beginning of the year, giving Google access to location information that goes "far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy."
"It is really a mystery as to why this is not optional," Matthew Hickey, a security expert and researcher at London-based Hacker House, told Quartz. "It seems quite intrusive for Google to be collecting such information that is only relevant to carrier networks when there are no SIM card or enabled services."
Google said it chose to end the practice right after the Quartz report was brought to its attention.
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