You must be wondering how it is possible for Google to collect data even when the phone is off. What if we tell you that this is happening since early 2017? It happened after the change to the Firebase Cloud messaging service (a service used by Google to optimize low-signal strength and message delivery). Reports claim that Android is the most insecure operating system in the world.
More than 60% of the devices which were affected last year were Android devices. Every Android phone collects data like addresses and locations of the user, even if services are disabled! Users have no clue to what extent the consumer privacy is breached by Google.
Recently, Quartz had observed the data collection practice and contacted Google to demand answers. Though it may seem shocking to a few readers, a Google spokesperson has confirmed this ongoing activity. The company claims that they have not used any personal data and reports from Quartz suggest that the data is encrypted but it can be manipulated if exposed.
Any Android phone can automatically go ahead and collect the addresses of the nearby cellular tower, and send it to Google. This is happening even when the device is turned off. Due to this, Google and its parent company (Alphabet) will be able to access your personal information. We are not certain to why this is happening but the spokesperson from Google said that the data was never stored and they will put an end to this exploitation. But will they?
Here is the comment from the Google spokesperson: “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.”
Even though the information was not used but it is of commercial value for advertisers who target consumers using the location. No matter what the reason is and even if they are doing it purposely for the security of the users, it is a violation of their privacy.
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