[LINK] Introducing geoloc

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Thu Feb 17 11:58:32 AEDT 2011

This extract is important:
>  ... precise GPS coordinates may be sent [from GPS-enabled mobile 
>phone using Google's location services] to Google's servers along 
>with any WiFi and cellular data observed by the phone ...

What does "any WiFi and cellular data" mean?

The content of beacons, and hence routers' IDs, and SSIDs, is one thing.

The content of traffic on the local network is another thing entirely.

I don't want to be unduly alarmist, and I don't want to criticise an 
engineer for answering a question, but ...

Shouldn't Google engineers take considerable care to be precise in 
their answers when there's a significant chance that the design may 
involve - or perhaps may be misinterpreted as involving - a criminal 
offence involving jail time?


At 11:26 +1100 17/2/11, Jon Seymour wrote:
>A product manager from Google has used Quora to answer my question
>about how they keep there database current. See:
>    http://goo.gl/DbdE5
>or quote below for convenience:
>We no longer collect any WiFi information through our Street View
>driving, but we do populate our location database through client
>software. For example, if a GPS-enabled mobile phone using Google's
>location services obtains a GPS fix, those precise GPS coordinates may
>be sent to Google's servers along with any WiFi and cellular data
>observed by the phone. Linking WiFi or cellular data with an accurate
>GPS reading helps us improve the accuracy of our location services,
>adapt to network changes (such as new cellular towers or relocated
>WiFi access points) and provide a better experience to people using
>our services.

Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre      Uni of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

More information about the Link mailing list