Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Nov 2017 16:09 UTC

Since the beginning of 2017, Android phones have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers - even when location services are disabled - and sending that data back to Google. The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android, has access to data about individuals' locations and their movements that go far beyond a reasonable consumer expectation of privacy.

Quartz observed the data collection occur and contacted Google, which confirmed the practice.

The cell tower addresses have been included in information sent to the system Google uses to manage push notifications and messages on Android phones for the past 11 months, according to a Google spokesperson. The were never used or stored, the spokesperson said, and the company is now taking steps to end the practice after being contacted by Quartz. By the end of November, the company said, Android phones will no longer send cell-tower location data to Google, at least as part of this particular service, which consumers cannot disable.

Raise your hand if you're surprised.

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[OT] Corporate doublespeak
by atsureki on Tue 21st Nov 2017 17:01 UTC
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The result is that Google, the unit of Alphabet behind Android

I can't stomach this Orwellian nonsense where Journalists are forced to write about Google as if it's this hot, new property from Alphabet, which you've definitely heard of thanks to all their other things that aren't Google.

Alphabet was created by Google, not the other way around. You can't just go and declare "I am my own grandpa" and have it be true. That's how the finances are arranged; fine, but it's not objective reality.

Serious question, though: if Android is still under Google, then what, exactly, isn't? I know Nest is separate, but Nest is... not healthy.

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