Google confirms Android smartphones are sharing your location data even when location services are disabled

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.

On a related note, Google’s Fuchsia OS has popped up online once again in company’s repository. As mentioned by The Next Web, from what is found by the developers in the code, Google may be working on the support of Apple’s programming language called Swift for the not-yet-announced OS.
For those unaware, Swift is Apple’s programming language used by developers to make applications on iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS. The inclusion of Swift support in Fuchsia OS is likely to bring more app developers on board for the platform.
In addition, it will make it easier for Google to port Apple apps onto Fuchsia OS, whenever it reaches users.