Android 15 Could let Users Stop Carrier Location Tracking

android 15 logo 002

Your smartphone holds a wealth of personal data, with one of the most sensitive being your location. Apps constantly request access to track where you go, whether it's your home, workplace, or the latest café you're visiting. This can be unsettling for those concerned about privacy.

Fortunately, Android offers settings to manage this, though they don't extend to your cellular provider. Your phone company generally knows your whereabouts due to the nature of its service. However, a glimmer of hope for privacy enthusiasts may be on the horizon with Android 15, as hinted by Mishaal Rahman from Android Authority.

Diving Into HAL: Understanding Hardware Abstraction Layer

When an app on Android requests your location, it interacts with the operating system's tools, which you can either grant or deny. However, many components of your device, such as the cellular radio, have firmware that Android can't fully control. Android 15 aims to introduce a new feature that allows your phone to block location access from the cellular radio unless it's for essential purposes.

Cellular location tracking is multifaceted. Your phone might share its location with the network to improve accuracy, or the network might compel your phone to reveal its position covertly, usually in emergencies. Android 15 seeks to restrict such tracking to emergencies only.

Despite this update, your phone won't become invisible to your carrier. They can still estimate your location based on the towers you connect to. Additionally, this feature's availability depends on the manufacturer of your device's cellular radio, which might not be supported on older phones. However, Google's Pixel devices, with their custom chips, are likely to be compatible.

While the Android 15 update is a positive step, the battle for true location privacy continues. It could potentially offer protection against devices like "Stingrays," which attempt to extract phone data by masquerading as cell towers. Nevertheless, carriers and app developers may devise alternative methods to track your location, highlighting the ongoing need for vigilance in safeguarding privacy.

Read More:


More from AllRoundReview.