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Collecting Location Data Even When Location Service Is Disabled

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Google Collects Android Location Data Even When Location Service Is Disabled

https://thehackernews.com/2017/11/android-location-tracking.html

I am highlighting this article on the grounds that is raises a few points and if you use the iPhone you should not ignore it.

Quote

This location-sharing practice doesn't want your Android smartphone to use any app, or turn on location services, or even have a SIM card inserted.

All it wants is to have your Android device to be connected to the Internet.

The investigation revealed that Android smartphones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers, and this data could be used for "Cell Tower Triangulation"—a technique widely used to identify the location of a phone/device using data from three or more nearby cell towers.

This is an issue with every mobile device, not just Android. It is how phones work and why they use triangulation in police shows on TV. That is how the system works. Your device connects to the nearest and most powerful tower in the area. As you move from Grid A, the signal gets weaker and the device searches for the next closest tower, that may be Grid B. So you can be easily tracked by looking at what towers your phone connects to and a path will then show, it will show where you are or where you spend time etc. Law Enforcement uses this technique all the time.

This particular article is about Google collecting that data (which they claim they are ending by the end of the year). This more about them collecting the data and what they do with it. Remember that Google is a for profit organization. Services is how they make their profit and they consider selling your data as part of that service to their advertisers. That is why a lot of the advertisements you see are what your interested in. Google Chrome is also the most popular browser and makes your life so easy signing on to things because they are collecting your data or data on you and selling it. You are not their customers, your are their commodity and advertisers etc. are their customers.

So if you use iPhone, OnePlus, Android or Windows phones... You can be and will be tracked, that if how your phone works, so don't think this is "Just an Android issue". As an Android user, I cringe at this article, but I accept that that is the way it is and is no different than when I used an early iPhone.

One last question: What does your service provider do with that data? AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and co. It is there towers you are connecting to, do you know what they do with that data from those towers?

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