November 21, 2017

Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers—even when location services are disabled—and sending that data back to Google. As a result Google has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy—even when location services are entirely disabled, according to an investigation conducted by Quartz.

This location-sharing practice doesn’t require your Android smartphone to use any app, or turn on location services, or even have a SIM card inserted. All it needs is to have your Android device be connected to the Internet.