Android devices collect data about their location and movement, even when the location feature is turned off or the SIM card is not in the phone. This was the first time reported by Quartz.
Location tracking cannot be turned off. Google will issue an update.
Since January of this year, Android devices have automatically collected the addresses of nearby broadcasters and then send this information in encrypted form to Google. When data is combined, Google can get a fairly accurate device position. The problem is that it happens automatically and it cannot be turned off.
Data is collected even when positioning is turned off, GPS has no effect on it. Likewise, it does not affect the SIM card. Even without it, the phone can search for nearby transmitters. Positioning is used to determine your location accurately on your phone by using GPS, such as Maps or Uber. The information that Google called Cell ID does not apply at all.
According to Google, it was mainly meant to make it faster to send information to Android devices. The company’s spokeswoman further said that the data was not used in the end and the company was wiping them off. An update that removes the data collection feature from the transmitters should be ready by the end of November. Obviously, speculation and questions arise too, that the positioning of transmitters should not have been used to send information faster but to target more accurately. But this is hard to find out now.
Do you have your location locked on your phone all the time, or turned off when you’re not using GPS services?