Google, the famous tech conglomerate, has accepted that it tracked its users’ locations even when they had turned the corresponding settings off on their smartphones.
The user’s privacy on the internet is a topic that is often being debated. Now, there have been a few reports that say that Google, the Android OS curator, has been collecting users’ location statistics even after they had opted out from it using the dedicated option available in one’s smartphone’s settings.
In cases when the user’s packet data and the GPS both were turned off, Google used the location of nearby cell-phone towers to approximate the location of its users.
As reported first by Quartz, all Android-enabled smartphones started collecting data through these practices since January this year. The data statistics were collected using these towers and stored on smartphones. The data was encrypted and automatically uploaded to the Google’s servers once these devices became online.
However, Google says that these practices were temporary. “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 ZDNet. “However, we never incorporated Cell ID into our network sync system, so that data was immediately discarded, and we updated it to no longer request Cell ID.”
Google is working on a software update to remove this feature and the corresponding update is expected to roll-out later this month.