I thought that I would share some comments on this email from a reader to add to this topic:

 

While I know the bigger point is that people are giving aware their info freely… the video is kind of misleading.

 

Couple of things

1 – our phones don’t need the internet to track us. GPS doesn’t need it. So, it would have been far more surprising to me if Google knew that info if they turned off GPS access for google maps (or for the entire phone)

2 – once you have GPS data you can easily tell your speed, thus probably know if you’re walking vs driving

3 – I’m pretty sure google maps caches map data so that when it can’t get an internet connection it can still give you navigation information. So, given #1. It’s not that surprising that it didn’t just have GPS coordinates but info about what businesses were are those locations.

 

So, my point is that none of this should be a surprise to people. How do people think Google Maps knows where all of the traffic is? I’m sure part of it comes from real-time speed info from all of those phones out there – even when people aren’t using the app. It’s actually brilliant! Free data!

 

Brian Sly and Company, Inc.