Here’s a headline that might be of particular interest to the 107 million Americans who have an Android phone or other mobile device: “Google collects Android users’ locations even when location services are disabled.”
Everyone, of course, should be concerned that a single corporation has flouted all the norms of personal privacy that we’ve built up over the centuries.
The scoop from Quartz Media details that since the beginning of 2017, mobile devices running the Android operating system track the location of the user, even when the device is turned off, and even when there’s no installed SIM card. It seems that each device has been automatically storing up the information, no matter what—and then, when it’s connected to the Internet, it sends it all to Google.
As the Quartz author, Keith Collins, puts it, “The result is that Google … has access to data about individuals’ locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.”