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Disabling Android location tracking

It appears that you don’t have to defeat Android location traffic; disabling Android location tracking is entirely possible. Go to Settings, then Location and Security, and uncheck the options Use wireless networks and Use GPS satellites.

There are upsides and downsides.

The upside is you will save battery life and performance. The downside is that applications that use mapping will have reduced functionality or stop working entirely.

It’s easy enough to re-enable when you need that functionality, and to disable when you aren’t using those features. But you will have to remember to do it.

This weekend, Google told the WSJ that it anonymizes the location data it stores, and the ID resets every time you reset the phone. Google says it uses the data for things like traffic maps, which makes sense.

Here’s something to keep in mind. One of my coworkers had his car stolen. It happened he had an Android device in the car, so his son was able to find the car using Android location tracking. So disabling Android location tracking isn’t necessarily something you want to do without thinking about it. After that episode, my coworker didn’t think location tracking is a bad thing.


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