The sad part is that this can not be disabled and it doesn't depend on what apps you have installed even if your smartphone has gone through a factory reset or the SIM card has been removed.
Company insisted on collecting location information without user consent to improve quality of message servicesThe Korea Communications Commission (KCC) has launched an investigation into allegations that Google collected location information from Android smartphone users without their consent.
However, it has now been revealed that Google was also receiving this data from Android phone users who had a program called Google Play Services - a key component of the operating system - running in the background.
Google Inc. has said - while confirming the practice-that it was ending the practice by the end of the month. Although Google says the cell tower data is encrypted, it doesn't mean it can't be compromised by a hacker. The collected data sent back to the Google's servers, which may be an invasion of privacy.
The company claim that this function is used to increase the speed of data transfer messages. But the privacy implications of the covert location-sharing practice are plain.
With user location data, cell towers could be used to triangulate location to around a quarter-mile radius, and even closer in urban areas where cell towers are closer together.
Moreover, this function works even without Global Positioning System, and SIM card. The only way to stop it would be possible only when Google make changes to Android. It happens even when a device has no SIM card and when Global Positioning System location services are disabled. Devices with a cellular data or WiFi connection appear to send the data to Google each time they come within range of a new cell tower.
Android devices without a SIM card, but connected to a WiFi network, would still send tower addresses to Google.
One privacy advocate described the finding as a "betrayal" of users. "You can kind of envision any number of circumstances where that could be extremely sensitive information that puts a person at risk". "It seems quite intrusive for Google to be collecting such information that is only relevant to carrier networks when there are no SIM card or enabled services".
Phone networks routinely collect data about where mobile users are, via information recorded from phone masts across the country.