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Tue, December 12, 2017

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BREAKING NEWS

Daddy Google keeps track of your whereabouts through your Android phone
Says new report

November 22, 2017



Chronicle staff

(NATIONAL) -- A "betrayal" of Android phone users or simple tech snafu on Google's part that has already been fixed?

One man's betrayal is another man's simple glitch.

The techie news website Quartz published a story Tuesday claiming that a majority of Android-powered phones collect location data on those phones and send it back to daddy Google "even when location services are switched off."

The story says the issue affected Android phones with Google Play Services running in the background. Quartz says it found that the phones were collecting "phone mast addresses," which is a string of data used to identify individual masts and then sending them back to Google, wherein supposedly a phone owner's physical location on this planet could be worked out using that data.

The story says the phones collected that data even when location services were switched off in the settings menu and even when there was no Sim card in the phone. In other words, there was no option for the phone's owner to disable that feature.

The story quotes Millie Graham Wood, a lawyer for Privacy International as saying "When we buy a smartphone, we don't expect it to betray us."

Google, in a statement, indicates this is much ado about nothing claiming that the company had been collecting the tower addresses for 11 months, "as an additional signal to further improve the speed and performance of message delivery," but never "incorporated Cell ID into our network sync system, so that data was immediately discarded."

So there you go. You chooses your claims and you keep on keepin' on.





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