Google shuts down previously unknown location tracking service

Google has shut down a service which tracked smartphone location data and signal strength to show network providers information weak spots in their coverage, Reuters reports.

This previously unknown service, which Google called Mobile Network Insights, tracked smartphone user location data in the background and provided this information to wireless carriers.

Google provided this information free to vendors and carriers, and collected data from all Android smartphone users who had opted into sharing location history and usage data with Google.

The service was reportedly shut down due to concerns about data privacy in addition to challenges with ensuring data quality.

Google confirmed to Reuters that it had shut down the service, but did not elaborate on data privacy concerns – only stating that Mobile Network Insights was discontinued due to “changing product priorities”.

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Google shuts down previously unknown location tracking service