Anyone actually checked the permission capability of the phone?
On a phone (Android 8+) at least you can turn off location access by app as you can for camera, microphone and everthing else, so I guess this issue must just be for those still on crap phones or old software. I would suggest you also turn off things like Location, NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth sensors that are not being used as it is just better security. I have also gove as far as disabling apps that I don't use, like google search and maps on my Samsung phone. I just checked my activity log and I haven't got one entry for over a month - so it is possible to stop the spying, it just takes quite a bit of effort and is not default on as it should be.
It would be better if Google had the same granularity of permission controls on the web interface as they do for Android devices - that way you could pick what each app could use, and only give access to trusted apps and for trusted uses in that app.