Wait, did Oracle tip off world to Google's creepy always-on location tracking in Android?

www.theregister.co.uk | 11/21/2017 | Staff
tiana_101 (Posted by) Level 3
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Analysis Having evidently forgotten about that Street View Wi-Fi-harvesting debacle, Google has admitted constantly collecting the whereabouts of Android devices regardless of whether or not they have location tracking enabled.

Between 2007 and 2010, during the debut of its Street View service, Google gathered all the Wi-Fi network names and router MAC addresses it could find from wireless networks encountered by its cars as they drove around snapping photos of buildings and roads. It also captured some network traffic from open Wi-Fi networks and, in the years that followed, was pilloried and fined some measly millions by privacy authorities around the world for doing so.

Tuesday - Google - Beginning - Locations - Cell

On Tuesday, Google said since the beginning of 2017, it has been collecting the locations of cell towers near Android phones. But having not found much use for the info, the practice is supposedly on its way out.

Essentially, when an Android handheld passes a phone mast, it quietly contacts Google's servers to report the location of the tower, even if the user has disabled location services – allowing the ad giant to potentially figure out folks' whereabouts as they wander about town. Google claims the collection is part of an experiment to optimize the routing of messages through mobile networks.

Admission - Response - Quartz - Report - Security

The admission came in response to a Quartz report, one that security researcher Ashkan Soltani, via Twitter, said had been shopped around the press by Oracle...

Soltani, who served as the chief technologist for America's trade watchdog, the Federal Trade Commission, from 2014 through 2015, and then did a four-month stint advising the White House, did not respond to requests for comment.

Oracle - Google - Quartz - Reporter - Keith

Oracle, Google, and Quartz reporter Keith Collins also did not respond to requests for further information about Soltani's claim. Not even a "no comment."

Oracle has been antagonistic toward Google for years as...
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