Google has reportedly confirmed that smartphones running its operating system, Android, have been collecting your location data unknowingly. The search giant has said that the Android phones have been collecting the data and sharing it with Google even when the location services are switched off.
However, it has been confirmed that the firm will stop this practice by the end of this month, reports Quartz.
“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,” the Google spokesperson to the news company. “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.”
Some researchers have said that although the data is encrypted, it is possible to send the data to third party services if the handset is affected with spyware.
For now, it is said that there is no solution for this problem. Factory resetting the smartphone and disabling the location services won’t work as devices both on mobile data or on Wi-Fi are said to send location data to Google when near a cell tower.