Quartz reported that Android phones gather your location data and send it to Google, even if you’ve turned off location services and don’t have a SIM card. Google is able to track user locations by triangulating which cell towers are currently servicing a specific device.
Customers Can’t Opt Out Of This Service
Since January 2017, all kinds of Android phones and tablets have been collecting the addresses of nearby cellular towers. It then sends the encrypted data to Google’s push notifications and messaging management system when connected to the internet.
Google’s terms of service read as:
“When you use Google services, we may collect and process information about your actual location” using “various technologies… including IP address, GPS, and other sensors that may, for example, provide Google with information on nearby devices, Wi-Fi access points and cell tower.”
All modern Android phones use a network sync system that requires mobile country codes and mobile network codes.