According to a report from Quartz, it has been discovered that even with Android’s Location Services disabled, it seems that Google is tracking your location anyway. Granted it doesn’t track you using GPS, but rather it tracks you by pinging nearby cellular towers, which means that Google still has a fix on your location, albeit done in a different way.
Google has confirmed this practice to Quartz, but claim that they will be ending it by the end of the month. Google also claims that this was done to improve certain aspects of Android. In a statement email to Quartz, a spokesperson said, “In January of this year, we began looking into using Cell ID codes as an additional signal to further improve the speed and performance of message delivery. However, we never incorporated Cell ID into our network sync system, so that data was immediately discarded, and we updated it to no longer request Cell ID.”
While the data collected is encrypted, it has been pointed out that if the user’s phone had been compromised, it could have been intercepted or sent to a third-party, and those are just unnecessary risks.