There’s a big reason Google can blackout the Street View cars with still maintaining its geo-location service quality on mobile devices. The reason is they are sourcing the data. The company has confirmed that some laptop and mobile phone users, who use Google applications to share their location and position with friends, are helping Google in building Wi-Fi hot spots database. The users normally realize it that they are allocating their location with Google as well as its partners. Though, they don’t realize that they are helping Google to match up their Wi-Fi hot-spot data of location as GPS synchronizes through broadcasting the location of every Wi-Fi access point comes in the wireless range.
How It Happened?
For instance, when any Google Maps Navigation client ask for a fix at their site, they send a complete record of all MAC (Media Access Control) addresses to Google which are related with wireless hot spots, accessible within the range. It needs to be verified through Google database for the addresses which are gathered by Street View project, said Steve Lee, Google’s group product manager. The triangulation of Wi-Fi hot-spot is a frequently used process to detect the location in modern smart phones, because GPS doesn’t work always in urban places and there is every chance of cell-tower positioning to be imprecise.
Though, Google applications also put in unique MAC addresses to the database, which makes your phone a Google Wi-Fi sensor. Additionally, laptop owners who use browsers, which can make use of HTML5 geo-location technologies (Firefox 3.5 for example),are also giving their contribution to this database during their location uploading to services like Foursquare, Twitter Firefox geo-location. When these data sent reverse to Firefox, it allocates its location of all the MAC addresses available in range with Google for mapping intentions.
According to the company, there is a difference between Google’s mobile applications and its Street View project. The difference is that Google mobile applications don’t collect any payload data. Google is under hammer all over the world after it revealed the fact that the Street View cars collected payload data or you can say ‘actual user data’ through unprotected wireless access points as well as MAC address data utilized for positioning. Whereas all fallout works its approach by courtrooms, Google has abandoned the Street View cars project.
Google’s Further Explanations
This software isn’t collecting MAC addresses through client devices like mobile phones and laptops, Lee said. That’s for confidentiality reasons and more practical concept which mapping client devices, is rather useless, because they continuously on the move. The data of location given to Google is unidentified and users can refuse to send back that data to Google, Lee said. Though, if you refuse to send “unidentified location data” to Google, you won’t be allowed to make use of wireless network to triangulate your exact position. It will result into either helping Google in collecting data or falling back on GPS or tower positioning to discover where you are.
Therefore, majority of users consent to distribute their data of location with Google, Lee added. Google gathers this data when applications aren’t in operation which means you don’t even need to use maps application to stay tabs through wireless hot spots situated in your area.