Tags: google | android | users | locations

Google Tracks Android Users Locations Even When Setting is Switched Off

Image: Google Tracks Android Users Locations Even When Setting is Switched Off

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By    |   Wednesday, 22 November 2017 12:29 PM

Google has secretly been tracking Android users' locations, even when the setting is turned off from their phones, a Quartz investigation has revealed.

According to the report, Google has been receiving data on the location of Android phone users since the start of the year, despite the location service being disabled on devices.

This raises privacy concerns, but Google said there is nothing to fear.

"In January of this year, we began looking into using Cell ID codes as an additional signal to further improve the speed and performance of message delivery," a Google spokesperson said in an email to Quartz. "However, we never incorporated Cell ID into our network sync system, so that data was immediately discarded, and we updated it to no longer request Cell ID."

A Google Spokesperson also told Fox News that, in order to ensure messages and notifications are received quickly, "modern Android phones use a network sync system that requires the use of Mobile Country Codes (MCC) and Mobile Network Codes (MNC)."

Google has largely been built around advertising, and an important part of that includes the company selling location data to advertisers in order to provide more specific advertising to the Android user, Fortune noted.

However, a source told Fox News that this latest data-harvesting ploy had nothing to do with Google's advertising ventures.

"In order for Android users to receive notifications and messages quickly, an Android device needs to maintain a persistent connection to Google servers using Firebase Cloud Messaging," the source told the news channel. "To maintain this connection, devices need to ping the server at a regular interval."

The controversy could benefit competitors like Oracle, which, according to security researcher Ashkan Soltani, leaked the story.

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Google has secretly been tracking Android users' locations, even when the setting is turned off from their phones, a Quartz investigation has revealed.
google, android, users, locations
313
2017-29-22
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 12:29 PM
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