Security researcher Mustafa Al-Bassam reported on Twitter that he "almost had a heart attack" when he walked into a McDonald's and was prompted on his phone to download the fast food restaurant's app.
Al-Bassam dug into his phone's apps to figure out how that had happened, and was amazed to find that his suspected culprit – Google Maps – was not responsible. It was Google Play that had monitored his location thousands of times.
Again, this is deliberate: Google is using your location to tout apps to you. If you wander into a pharmacy, you'll be offered software to print your photos, for example.
If you're not keen on this, the options are not great: you can either delete Google Maps and/or Google Play, or you have to repeatedly turn your phone's location services on and off as required throughout the day, which is extremely irritating.
I just turned off location services."Kind of defeats the purpose of fine-grained privacy controls," Al-Bassam noted, adding: "Google is encouraging developers to use the Play location API instead of the native Android API, making an open OS dependent on proprietary software."