Google’s mobile operating system Android continuously collects information on users and many of them may not even know that they are already giving up so many details. This was after
American news publication Quartz Media conducted an investigation into Google’s product, Location History.
According to the report, the Location History is embedded in various proprietary apps in Android, including Google Maps, and the company uses the data so that the phone features will effectively function. However, Quartz Media claimed that the stockpiled information gathered by the tech giant is more extensive than what Android users may have realized. It adds that Google uses it to track every move Android users make.
The investigation shows that when the Location History product is enabled on an Android phone, it sends different data to the company’s servers. These data include the phone’s MAC address or the wifi access point that the user is connected to, the phone battery level or if the phone is still charging, the GPS coordinates, the GPS elevation, the barometric pressure, and almost all the types of movements that an Android phone thinks the user is doing, such as biking on the road, riding a vehicle, or walking.
American digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation’s security engineer Bill Buddington said, “That goes beyond what you’d expect for Location History, especially in terms of predicted activity.”
The report highlights that the Location History is actually opt-in, which means a permission from the phone’s owner is needed before Google can access their data.