How Google might know what you did last summer -- even if you forgot.
Google Latitude is a service that allows users to see and share their location on a Google map live and in real-time. The service runs on most smart-phones, regardless of service provider, including Apple's iPhone, Windows Mobile, the Palm Pre, and, of course, Google's Android. Latitude relies on a combination of GPS, cellular tower triangulation, and wi-fi triangulation. Having brushed-up on the service for a recent National Public Radio (NPR) Interview, I have since considered Latitude one-part creepy, and two-parts cool. However, the creepy / cool ratio may be shifting.
This week Google introduced a new and improved Google Latitude -- with enhanced features like "Location History". With Location History Latitude users can go back in time retrace their footsteps, and even see where they stayed-put, and for how long. Kind of cool...yet, very creepy. But practical?
Imagine, for example, you're the owner of a Palm Pre on Sprint's 3G Now Network , having trouble remembering where your were when you told your spouse you were somewhere else? Now, there's a map for that!
But wait -- there's more! How about "Location Alerts"? Certainly, a application that would alert you when a particular individual, say a family member, has left work or school, would be very practical. After a while of being alerted every time someone is, or has arrived, exactly where you would expect them to be, however, could get old. So, Google's geniuses stepped it up a notch. According to Google, Latitude will learn user's patterns and behavior so that alerts can be issued when a person has strayed from their routine -- left at a different time, or arrived at a different place.
For example, if you decide to staycation with your mistress, you can receive a handy alert when your spouse leaves the office earlier than usual. Or, if traffic is particularly light, Latitude will let you know when it's time for a quick window-exit.
Best of all, when the jig is up, no one has to know, because -- for now -- Google is making all these free services available to you, and no one else... at least, without subpoena powers.
This is deception... on the Now Network.
Similar Blog & News Articles
- Google Latitude Now Tracks Location History, Alerts You to Nearby Friends :: Mashable!
- Google Cranks Creepy Meter with Latitude Location History, Alerts :: eWeek - RSS Feeds
- Google Latitude Adds Location History, Alerts You When Friends Are Nearby Google Maps :: Lifehacker
- Google Latitude Lets Users Follow Their Own Footprints :: TechNewsWorld
About Jeff M. Fischbachhttp://www.twitter.com/FischTech Jeff Michael Fischbach is founder and President of SecondWave Information Systems (SecondWave.com), a consulting firm specializing in Forensic Technology. Since 1994, he has served as a board member and technology adviser to numerous professional organizations and corporations. Mr. Fischbach has been engaged as a litigation consultant and Forensic Examiner, offering expert advice and oversight on matters involving intellectual property, computers, information systems, satellite, tracking and wireless communications technologies. He has advised law enforcement, foreign government representatives, judges, lawyers and the press.
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