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With No SIM Card And Location Services Disabled Some Android’s Can Still Track Users

With personal privacy becoming more of an issue everyday, it would be alarming to find out that you’re be tracked when you specifically have turned off that feature. Well based on a new report that was discovered on Quartz it seems like Google has been retrieving your location data and then sending it back encrypted without your permission.

It seems like Google has discovered a method that allows them to still track you when you don’t have a SIM card inserted or even when you have location services turned off.  The report from Quartz suggests that this has been going on for close to a year.

The way that Google does this is when you’re connected to a WiFi network for those that don’t have a SIM card, it sends data back to itself to collect your data.


Major Points From The Investigation:

  • Google has been sending locations of users since the start of 2017 without consumer’s approval or knowledge.
  • Even with no SIM card or location services turned off Android has been collecting your location and sending it back to Google via an encryption.
  • Once Google was contacted after the Quartz investigation, it said that it would stop doing this practice of collecting users location.

Apps and advertisers cannot access users’ location data

Google has said that users shouldn’t be worried as this information is not shared with anyone and advertisers or apps don’t have access to users’ location history that Google collects.

One interesting point is that Google does allow advertisers access to users location to help serve better ads to target people based on their location. It would be interesting to know if those without a SIM card or have location services turned off got targeted ads based on their location.

After Google was contacted in regards to the Quartz article it has said that it’s planning to stop doing this to make Android users more comfortable. It’s unknown if Google would have stopped using this method if it wasn’t for Quartz to publish this report to the public.

The articles goes on to say that it was possible that a hack or spyware to infiltrate the server to gain access to a unique ID that is related to each specific device.


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