Android uses your location even when you disable tracking

Google has been spying on the locations of the Android Users: Report reveals

The ministry stated that it will closely examine whether Google collected and used the location data of Android smartphone users in Korea without obtaining due consent, and also cooperate with other states including the U.S., the European Union and Japan in case an global investigation is needed.

Smartphones running Android software could gather data about locations and send them to Google, even if the users turn off location services, use no apps, and don't insert a SIM card, a Quartz investigation reported on Tuesday.

United Kingdom data protection officials are also looking into the matter.

The report states that Google - a subsidiary of Alphabet - has access to data beyond "a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy".

"We are aware of the reports about the tracking system and are in contact with Google", they proclaimed. Even after the device was reset to a factory default setting and location services were disabled, Quartz still noted that the location was being transmitted to Google.

YouTube ups crack down efforts on child-exploiting videos
Adidas said the situation was "completely unacceptable", with Diageo issuing an "immediate stop" on their advertising. One video highlighted by The Times showed a girl in trousers and a vest sat on a bed filled with cuddly toys.

In response, Google insisted its actions were governed exclusively by a desire to "improve the speed and performance of message delivery", and added that such information was never stored.

Apparently, Android smartphones since the beginning of 2017 have been collecting addresses of nearby cellular towers even when location services are turned off and sending this data back to Google when the device is connected to a Wi-Fi network or has a cellular data enabled. Android phones are no longer requesting Cell ID codes, and collection should be phased out this month, it said.

"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 told Quartz about the location-sharing practice.

Google said the data was "immediately discarded" and promised to update phones to prevent it happening in the future. Android devices are estimated to account for around 80 percent of Korea's smartphone market. The only way to stop it would be possible only when Google make changes to Android.

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