Google has been collecting your location data since the beginning of the year 2017. We all are using smartphones and never really bother much whether the location services are on or off. But, Google is collecting your location data, even when the location services are disabled on your phone and SIM Card is not inserted.
This thing came into light under the Quartz investigation report. Even when your location services are turned off, you are not using any apps and phone does not has SIM card, still your phone is sending your location to the Google servers, moment when you are connected to the internet.
This is breach of Privacy by Google, but how this all was happening? Android phones has been collecting the location data of nearby cell tower and sending it back to Google servers.
Quartz done the observation on data collection and contacted Google, in which they confirmed this practice. Google Spokesperson said that information sent to Google was to increase the performance of message delivery and push notification on Android phone. The company will end this practice after being contacted by Quartz as this act comes under privacy breach.
The statement quoted by Google Spokesperson is ““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 said in an email. “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.”