Android 15 Introduces Tracking Even When Phones Are Powered Off

Written by Henrik Rothen

Mar.16 - 2024 9:35 AM CET

Technology
Photo: tomeqs / Shutterstock.com
Photo: tomeqs / Shutterstock.com
In the new Android 15, it will be possible to track the phone even when it is turned off.

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In an era where privacy concerns are escalating, the upcoming Android 15 update is poised to introduce a feature that has raised eyebrows: the ability to track phones even when they are turned off.

This innovation, aimed at enhancing device security and recoverability, mirrors Apple's Find My service by using Bluetooth signals to pinpoint the location of lost or stolen Android devices with remarkable accuracy.

The Intricacies of Device Tracking

Historically, Google has faced scrutiny and legal challenges over its data collection practices, including instances where it was found to gather information despite explicit user restrictions. This backdrop of trust issues amplifies concerns about the new tracking capabilities slated for Android 15, suggesting a continuous battle over consumer privacy.

As smartphones become indispensable, users unwittingly consent to data collection by tech giants. Yet, the specifics of this data transfer—what information is collected, how much, and for what purposes—remain a mystery to the average consumer, fueling myths about digital surveillance and the privacy distinctions between Android and iOS platforms.

A Step Toward Comprehensive Location Access

With Android 15, even powering down a device won't prevent it from being located. The software will allow phones to send Bluetooth signals to nearby devices for location tracking, a feature that requires hardware integration to function. This is reported by Antyweb.

This implies that to utilize this new capability, consumers must invest in newer smartphone models designed to support it.

It's speculated that phones could reserve a small amount of battery power to keep the Bluetooth module operational for some time after the device has been turned off.

Consumer Concerns and Corporate Control

While the ability to track a switched-off phone could thwart thieves by making devices traceable even when turned off and SIM cards removed, it also grants Google near-constant access to users' locations. Although system settings might allow users to disable this tracking feature, Google's history of circumventing user preferences on data collection has left many wary.

This development underscores the delicate balance between enhancing security and encroaching on personal privacy. It highlights a growing apprehension towards the expanding influence of major corporations on individual autonomy and control.

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