I use a Galaxy S3 T999 and across several different 4.3 ROM's, I've found that since about a month ago, every time I hit the microphone key on the keyboard to voice type, the GPS icon will display for about 4 seconds. I don't know why this is necessary, any input?
So, if this bothers you (privacy, battery life?) here's the solution I found:
First, trying to control location permissions for this will block all location access otherwise. You must disable location permissions for Google framework which will also stop location from working in maps, etc.
The solution I found is to uninstall the update to the "Google Search" app, and check the box to stop it from auto-updating. I see zero performance impact or functionality loss, and no loss of accuracy in voice typing, for my purposes (I don't use the Google Search app or Google Now). The voice typing process uses about 10% less cpu while it is listening to your voice too.
The Google Search app, as far as I know, provides the functions of Google Now. Using an old version means you'll be missing some cards and perhaps some other functions. Since I personally don't use Google Now, this solution works for me and hopefully for someone else.
Does your gps icon blink for a bit every time you hit the microphone key (on the keyboard) to voice type? I found not every device is doing this.