Google to Disable a Feature that allows Mobile Operators to Locate Android Phones

Although the stated purpose is to help mobile operators improve network coverage, the Mobile Network Insights feature is perceived as an intrusion into users’ privacy; the data collected and transmitted automatically can be used for other purposes as well.

Mobile Network Insights is used by mobile networks to generate a map with signal strength and data connection speed. The data includes the location of the mobile phone and is anonymously transmitted only after express user consent.

Apparently, the data collected by Google introduced in March 2017 is valuable for telecom companies, a large number of Android phones in circulation helping to build a very accurate map, reflecting the quality of services in different areas covered by the network.

According to Reuters, Google has not given a specific reason for disabling this feature, there may be pressure from the authorities in the middle, as the data collected may fall under GDPR laws.

Certainly, even without Network Insights, telecom operators can use other means to obtain the desired information about the network, a similar service being offered by Facebook, called Actionable Insights.

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