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Reports says most of Android smartphones out there gathers
location data and send it back to Google, even after location services are
switched off.
Android smartphones sends user location to Google, even when no SIM inside.

According
to the report
, your Android phone collects information about close by
mobile phone masts and transmit those data to Google.
A privacy advocate termed this discovery as a
“betrayal” of users’ trust.
In a swift response to Quartz, Google however admitted and
says the information was under no circumstances kept and it said Android would
be updated to halt the practice.
The issue affected Android phones with Google Play Services
running in the background. Google Play Services are required to access many of
the search giant’s apps and the framework is pre-installed on a majority of
Android smartphones targeted at consumers.
Quartz discovered that the smartphones were gathering phone
mast addresses – a string of data used to detect individual masts – and transfer
them back to Google. The data could be used to locate somebody’s position.
Even when the location services on handsets are switched
off, or no SIM card, the phone still sends.
For now, there was no option to disable the practice.
Google said it had been collecting the mast addresses for 11
months “as an additional signal to
further improve the speed and performance of message delivery.
“We never
incorporated Cell ID into our network sync system, so that data was immediately
discarded.”
Online rights group Privacy International, represented by Millie Graham Wood said, the finding showed people had “little control” over what smartphones did in the background.
“When we buy a
smartphone, we don’t expect it to betray us,” said Millie Graham Wood, a
solicitor for Privacy International.
“While Google
states in this instance it will stop the practice, this raises the question of
what else it is doing beyond the knowledge of the user, and why.”

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