Google and Microsoft Tracking Your Location Too

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restatement3dofted

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Of course they are. Anyone that thought this was unique to Apple (despite knowing how common it is for Android applications to collect and store data that they don't need) is an idiot.
 

wfrantz

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Agreed with the guy above me. People just looking for a reason to hate Apple. They all do it. Get Real
 

dgingeri

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it's too bad for me. I leave my GPS and location services off until I need them, and leave my wifi off almost all the time. So, they aren't tracking me or tracking any wifi signals through me.
 

JohnnyLucky

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if they wanted to, what sort of other things could Apple, Google, and Microsoft do with the information that is collected? Could it somehow be associated with local advertising?
 

mrecio

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Can this be turned off on Andriod or WP7? From what I heard you cannot turn this off on apple even after turning off location services.
 

eaw2539

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Haha. All the Apple-haters/Andriod fanboys were bashing Apple for this, I bet now they have nothing to say.

[citation][nom]mrecio[/nom]Can this be turned off on Andriod or WP7? From what I heard you cannot turn this off on apple even after turning off location services.[/citation]

According to the article Toms posted about Apple's activities, turning off location service does stop it.

 

dgingeri

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[citation][nom]mrecio[/nom]Can this be turned off on Andriod or WP7? From what I heard you cannot turn this off on apple even after turning off location services.[/citation]
The location services can be turned off in Android, with a simple toolbar. I leave them off on my Captivate because they chew up massive battery power. Then I just press the button on my toolbar when I actually need location or directions (like when I was visiting Irvine, California a few months ago and got myself lost.) The Wifi can also be turned off. I don't know about the reporting service that reports the info back to Google, but with wifi and location services off, it wouldn't be submitting any useful info.
 

NatureTM

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According to the quote, satellite GPS uses more data than WiFi or tower positioning. To me, this seems counter-intuitive. Can someone please explain?
 

pelov

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[citation][nom]NatureTM[/nom]According to the quote, satellite GPS uses more data than WiFi or tower positioning. To me, this seems counter-intuitive. Can someone please explain?[/citation]

Read an article on just how and why it's done, and though i'm still a little confused at least i'm much less confused than before :p

GPS signals are intermittent and not a good reliable source for triangulating your position, especially in cities or cluttered environments where signal can drop completely. The towers (and WiFi), too, triangulate your position. Apparently they do this as a more reliable way to do it, but doing so via towers is less accurate and can give false data (sometimes off by a few miles) whereas GPS can spot you within a few feet.

So if you have your WiFi and GPS turned off they use signal towers and are less accurate. A reason for doing this could be to improve service (seeing patterns where cell phone signal is unreliable or where you have the highest cluster of people), as well as still giving you the option of using apps that require your location without being interfered by poor GPS signal or bad wifi.

Of course, they can also sell that data and now you have advertisements that target you based on your exact location via phone. Want pizza? there's a domino's 2 blocks away.
 

dgingeri

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[citation][nom]NatureTM[/nom]According to the quote, satellite GPS uses more data than WiFi or tower positioning. To me, this seems counter-intuitive. Can someone please explain?[/citation]
GPS information is given with what satellites you have in range, what their signal strength is, and coordinates. Through tower positioning, you get what towers are in range and an estimated set of coordinates. With GPS, you might have anywhere from 8 to 19 satellites in range, with more satellites giving a better location. With power positioning, you will get a maximum of 3 towers, giving a much broader location. GPS can nail down a location within about 10 feet. tower positioning will give a location within 250 feet, at best. My phone, when I'm at work, using tower positioning, will tell me I'm within a 2.5 mile radius of a certain tower, and that's the best I can get. With GPS, it can tell me which building I'm in.
 

NatureTM

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Er I guess I misspoke, the quote says it uses more data, as in data from your data plan, not gives more position data.

"Additionally, using GPS consumes more battery power and uses more data than using Wi-Fi or cell towers to determine location. The additional consumption can have an impact on mobile phone users by increasing data charges and draining the battery."
 

drchemist

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The real problem here is that apple stores this information INDEFINITELY while android is only last 200 locations and WP7 only the last time. Plus at least android and WP7 actually have a popup window that says, "Hey we are going to send this info. Press yes or no." I would love to see that apple commercial.
Remember that browsers keep your searches for a few months. What if they kept your search information forever. They could eventually create a large user profile that could remove anonymity based on narrowing the user searches.
It's the NEVER erases part that scares me.
 

ericburnby

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[citation][nom]dgingeri[/nom]it's too bad for me. I leave my GPS and location services off until I need them, and leave my wifi off almost all the time. So, they aren't tracking me or tracking any wifi signals through me.[/citation]
Does that go along with your tinfoil hat?
 

dgingeri

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[citation][nom]ericburnby[/nom]Does that go along with your tinfoil hat?[/citation]

No tin foil hat, but it does help my battery life. :)
 

pelov

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Apparently apple users gave them the right with the ToS: user agreement they signed. Therefore Jobs claims that they "don't track you", whereas what he really means is "you idiot, you gave us the right to do it."

The issue isn't only whether the phone itself stores it or not, but also what and where the information goes to from the phone. Perhaps servers where your location for the past 6-12 months (or longer) is shown in precise longitude and latitude format? What are they planning to do with the data? who else can get their hands on it? etc.
 

mikem_90

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[citation][nom]DjEaZy[/nom]... they will find you anyway... with or without accumulated data...[/citation]

that is the thing, the police and other groups have far easier ways of doing locating you than this.

Hell, even the insurance companies who could profit from dropping policies or increasing premiums on people who go into fast food restaurants frequently would find it far cheaper and easier just buying your purchase history from your credit card company.

Worrying over Apple over this is focusing on a very small issue.
 

molo9000

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The creepy thing is how accurate they can track your location without GPS.

That google maps pin on my iPad is within 5-10m of my real location.
 
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