Tracking your location via GPS is a relatively recent phenomenon among smartphones. This lets you do incredible things like ride-sharing, navigation, or looking for Pokémon in various street corners. But what if you learned that your phone still tracks your location even when you turn off its GPS function?
According to a report by Quartz, phones using the Android operating system gather data about your location and send it to Google when they’re connected to the internet. And unless you turn off your phone, there’s no way to stop it.
Google plays Big Brother
Apparently, Android automatically tracks the location of the cell towers it connects to. The OS then sends the data to Google automatically. And get this: Google has confirmed it.
As per Quartz’s story:
“Even devices that had been reset to factory default settings and apps, with location services disabled, were observed by Quartz sending nearby cell-tower addresses to Google. Devices with a cellular data or WiFi connection appear to send the data to Google each time they come within range of a new cell tower. When Android devices are connected to a WiFi network, they will send the tower addresses to Google even if they don’t have SIM cards installed.”