Your phone knows where you are at pretty much all times. This is no surprise—that's part of the appeal. But while there are options to disable GPS and Location Services in the settings of Android phones, this won't stop Google from knowing where you are. Short of turning off your phone, there's actually no real way.
New details about the length to which Google tracks Android phones , which reports that Android phones will track your location even if you disable location services and even if you aren't logged into the phone. How? The operating system automatically tracks the location of the cell towers it is connecting to and phones the information home to Google automatically, a policy which Google confirmed to Quartz.
Even devices that had been reset to factory default settings and apps, with location services disabled, were observed by Quartz sending nearby cell-tower addresses to Google. Devices with a cellular data or WiFi connection appear to send the data to Google each time they come within range of a new cell tower. When Android devices are connected to a WiFi network, they will send the tower addresses to Google even if they don’t have SIM cards installed.
The practical effect of this is that, so long as your Android phone is on and not inside a Faraday cage, your location data is being communicated. Google told Quartz that this practice has existed for 11 months, but that the information was never stored or used and furthermore that the process will now be ended.
While the practice is just generally creepy, it also can have profound legal implications. Loose restrictions allow law enforcement in many states until will ultimately decide if this will remain legal. In the meantime, there's nothing much to do besides be aware of how much and how easily your phone may be tracking you. If you really wan't privacy, you'll just have to turn the thing all the way off.