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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Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:

Not sure what you mean, it is the current reality that Alphabet is the parent of Google. In business you can create a company to be the parent holding company of your existing one. Companies are not people so your comparison falls short.

Take the Kmart-sears "merger" a few years ago. Kmart bought out sears, changed its name to sears, and create a new subsidiary called kmart. Try that one on for size.

How about at&t? AT&T was purchased by their former subsidiary Southwest Bell, which then renamed itself at&t. The wireless division Cingular bought out AT&T wireless before the merger. So some customers had AT&T then Cingular, then at&t after the rebrand post merger. Of course customers like myself set up in this way were in hell describing why their accounts were so strange to customer service of at&t ...

You might recognize some of the other Alpha companies.

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