Location Data from Android Devices Being Sent to Google Covertly

22 November, 2017, 01:28 | Author: Marie Harrington
  • Android Phones Track Location Even With GPS Turned Off Google Says It's to Improve Message Delivery

It has been revealed that Android smartphones continue to send device owners' locations to Google, even if location services are turned off and a SIM card isn't inserted.

This is bad. Google actively receives location data from Android users even when location services have been switched off.

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. The company claims it did not put this information into the sync system though, which means it was allegedly discarded immediately.

According to Google, the data wasn't stored and was deleted as soon as it was received, but the admission still raises questions of privacy and security.

The firm is now taking steps to end the practice, it says. "Perhaps it is time for the United States to consider regulations similar to the forthcoming GDPR in the European Union to institute greater transparency around the collection of personal data, including location, and providing a mechanism for users to have greater control over what data gets stored and where". While the data collected is encrypted, it is possible for that information to be shared with third-parties or intercepted by a malicious actor.

Zanu-PF: The Mugabe heave-ho will start tomorrow
"I hope that 37 years into [his] rule he doesn't want another 37 seconds of rule", said war veterans' leader Chris Mutsvangwa. But she is insulting civil servants, the vice president, at public rallies.

Quartz first discovered the suspect "location" collection on several Android devices and Google reportedly confirmed to the website it was only doing so to "further improve the speed and performance of message delivery". Google does offer details on how to control Google's location access points, though after reading through the instructions, the company could admittedly do a better job of making this clearer and simpler for its general consumers.

Apparently, Google tracks location data of users who turned off location services on their devices. The cell tower data is usually held by carrier networks.

Google's collection of cell tower data occurred when notifications were pushed or phone users utilized the phone's built-in messaging service.

A cell-tower location sent to Google from an Android device. When Android devices are connected to a WiFi network, they will send the tower addresses to Google even if they don't have SIM cards installed.

But by using data from multiple towers, a location can be triangulated within a radius of around 0.5 miles (0.8 km). Hopefully, someone at Google will soon realize that, because crippling the app would be a massive annoyance to many users. Specifically, Google is collecting addresses from nearby cellular towers.

Recommended:



Popular

The explosion at a mosque in Nigeria killed 30 people
During the occupation, the town's name was changed temporarily to Madinatul Islam, or "City of Islam" in Arabic. Police say the young bomber was mingling with worshippers in the town of Mubi when he detonated his explosives.

Hariri to visit Egypt, expected return to Lebanon on Wednesday
Lebanese President Michel Aoun has refused to accept his resignation until he returns to present it in person. Hariri is now in Paris, where he met French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday.

Selena Gomez Goes Blonde for the American Music Awards
She took some time off to recover, but " Wolves " marked her big return to the stage. Check out our picks for the best dressed at this year's AMAs .

Harrison Ford Still Playing Hero ... Helps Woman Who Drove Off Highway
Senior Officer Matt Alonzo of the Santa Paula Police Department was working the incident, which took place around noon. The woman driving, who was the only occupant in the sedan, escaped with minor injuries, authorities said.

Morrissey: Backlash after singer's comments on Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey
Morrissey has come out to defend Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey in a recent interview and people are not very happy about it. He was wondering where the boy's parents were. "One wonders if the boy did not know what would happen", Morrissey said .

Hunt on for missing Argentine submarine
The ARA San Juan submarine shown here has been missing for two days after giving its last location in southern Argentine waters. Argentina's navy is analysing a noise that may have come from a missing submarine with 44 crew members on board.

Manushi Chillar crowned Miss World 2017
Haryana girl Manushi Chillar on Saturday was crowned as the Miss World 2017 at the contest held in the Sanya City Arena, China. Manushi, who was also the victor of Miss India 2017, made it through a total of 108 contestants to bag the coveted title.

Banks, PSUs too upgraded; may improve access to foreign funds
Moody's pegged GDP growth at 6.7 per cent in FY18 and 7.5 per cent in FY19, with similarly robust levels of growth from FY20. The agency also said that India's growth potential is significantly higher than most other Baa-rated sovereigns.

Goffin stuns Federer to set up London final against Dimitrov
He leveled in the eighth game before breaking once more in the 12th to snatch the set, despite Goffin hitting eight more winners. At 3-0 in the second set, Goffin was digging his heels into the game. "This has always been, again, a dream of mine".

Trump tells Clinton to run again for President 'in three years'
But Clinton recently suggested to Mother Jones that Russian government interference undermined the "legitimacy" of Trump's win. Clinton has said she will not run for office again.