Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers since the beginning of the year, Quartz said, giving Google access to location information that goes "far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy".
Google did not dispute Quartz' claims about collecting the described data from new Android phones.
Rounding out the improvements is a useful upgrade with regards to the physical interaction of Android Wear watches.
Phones using Google's operating system, Android, have been covertly tracking their users' locations, even when a user has turned off their location services. The data on cell towers is sent to the system that manages communications and push notification. Google has said that the collection of location data will be stopped in an update that will be released later this month. The company said that it will take steps to stop the data collection, and it should be stopped on all Android devices by the end of November.
Of course, the argument can be made that this data is not hugely accurate and will not help Google obtain any form of accurate location data about an individual, but there are still two concerns with this addition. Use of Corporation explains the desire to improve the speed of sending and delivery of messages.
All of these are worthwhile additions, so much so that I can scarcely believe they're only now being implemented. Did they just say this because Quartz caught the company and called them out?
Android Wear 2.6 brings new feature to the notifications "dynamic text size", the text size of notifications now changes according to the length of the message.
The report notes that the user location data tracking has been going on since early 2017.
Users were not aware the information was being collected, and have no way of opting out of it. That is a huge invasion of privacy on the part of Google. Multiple towers within a city could triangulate a position to less than a quarter-mile, however, and track a person's movements throughout the day. Even without it being precise, it is still a huge invasion of privacy. Don't want your location data mined? This includes information about your lifestyle and your habits.
This is not the first time that Google has been caught collecting user data in an unexpected manner.