Google collects location data on Android even when location services are disabled

Google collects location data on Android smartphone even when location service is disabled, as per a new report. Quartz claims that location tracking still occurs on Android Smartphone even if a user takes safety measures like disabling location, or not inserting a SIM card on the device.


According to Quartz, Android devices send these details when the device is connected to the Internet. The reports say that location tracking has been in practice in early 2017, which is confirmed by Google. This company collects addresses of nearby cellular towers, even when the location is disabled on the device.

Google quoted that Quartz company has been collecting cell tower addresses to improve delivery of push notifications and messages on Android devices. It also quoted that it will stop collecting user location data by the end of November.

“Android phones will no longer send cell-tower location data to Google, at least as part of this particular service, which consumers cannot disable,” the company has said. This new report raises a lot question on users privacy, where people might not like to be tracked but the user doesn’t have the option to turn it off.

Google Collects Location Data even if GPS is OFF!

The Quartz collect data as a part of Firebase Cloud Messaging which the app developers and Google use to send notification messages or data messages to the consumers or their own apps. The company claimed that it had planned to use Cell ID data to improve the message delivery, but it never incorporated that in the actual system, so all the data collected was discarded.


Google told 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. 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.”

Google has mentioned in its terms and service that, When you use Google services, they may collect and process information about your actual location. They use multiple technologies to determine location, including IP address, GPS, and other sensors that may provide information on nearby devices, Wi-Fi access points, and cell towers.