Google manager: Location data ‘extremely valuable’ to company

“Google Inc.’s collection of location information from millions of mobile devices and personal computers is ‘extremely valuable’ to the company’s future business, according to an email written by a Google product manager last year,” Amir Efrati reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“That email and others, which are part of a public filing in a lawsuit against Google last year, shed new light on the company’s thinking about the need to gather location-related data. Such information is essential for a growing number of mobile applications and websites to function properly, the emails indicate,” Efrati reports. “It is also useful for companies such as Google— whose Android software powers millions of phones—that want to offer consumers advertisements that are tailored to their locations, a new frontier for online ads.”

Efrati reports, “‘I cannot stress enough how important Google’s Wi-Fi location database is to our Android and mobile-product strategy,’ wrote Steve Lee, the Google product manager, in an email that emerged in a suit filed against Google by Skyhook Wireless Inc. in a Massachusetts court… Skyhook, [which currently provides location information for some Apple devices and] which once provided location services for Google but is now a competitor, sued Google for allegedly interfering with Skyhook’s relations with Motorola and also for violating patents related to location-collection data. Google is seeking to have the suit dismissed.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

16 Comments

  1. The detailed personal details of every human on earth is also extremely valuable to my little company. I’m also going to collect it, no matter how and no matter how many privacy laws I pass over.
    WTF!!!! That is a stupid argument!! This guy is a moron or studied to be so silly?

  2. It’s important to them because they can sell advertising against where you. Just imagine that as you drive past a mall and your Android phone screen lights up with a message that says, “We see you’re near the mall. The Gap has a 20% off sale on their jeans if you stop now.”

    To me, it’s disturbing.

    1. I’m with you on that one. I keep my iPhone on vibrate mode, and I never use the phone while driving. All my contacts know this, so they leave a message. If I get two buzzes in quick succession, I begin to worry that something really important is happening, so I pull over and get out the phone… to find that AT&T is spamming me with SMS ads. This wouldn’t be so bad, except there is no way to shut off SMS. (I never use it.)

      1. You get ads from AT&T?
        I don’t…. Has to be something you can opt out of.

        Only time AT&T sends me a msg, my bill has been paid. Beyond that I don’t think AT&T has ever sent me any other msg.

    1. Hey, if you *want* to be spammed by ads all day long, then bully for you. Most of us, however, would prefer that kind of thing to be strictly opt-in.

      Right now, we’re not always being given a choice – it’s the pervasiveness and lack of informed consent which drives the concern and anger.

  3. Advertising is poison disguised as candy. It’s hard to understand why no one is horrified by the constant barrage of advertising that assaults our eyes and ears (and brain cells) every single day from morning til night, from every direction.

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