Well I guess I should say attention all iPhone and Android users (so pretty much every Smartphone user). As you may have read on my Weekend Reading post on the MoPR blog, this past Wednesday it was discovered that your iPhone has been tracking everywhere you go. Well maybe not every iPhone user… but definitely me. (You can read the news-breaking article). Well apparently Apple isn’t alone in this stalking endeavor, Google is also on the bandwagon… they just didn’t get the news aired in such an embarrassing manner. Individuals who use location-based services (LBS) on their Smartphones are having their locations being transmitted back to Apple, or Google. Users who turn off their LBS option on their phone (and subsequently are not enjoying some great LBS apps) are still safely and secretly located.
So the thoughts on people’s minds – besides violation – is why do these companies actually want this data? Well it turns out LBS and apps that utilize this function have sparked a multi-billion dollar market. The $2.9 billion dollar market is expect to reach $8.3 billion by 2014, according to the research firm Gartner. Check out this graph below (I got this graph from this website):
My take on the whole deal, being an Apple fan, a LBS user, and a PR gal is this: I don’t care. Maybe you’re shocked, or you are thinking “she’s such a fanboy.” My PR side thinks Apple (and Google) should have informed customers prior to enacting this project. Realistically, I will not stop using LBS – in fact I used LBS just yesterday. The only time I do not think people should use LBS services is when they “check-in” to their home. Not so smart. We could dive into that, but that’s a whole other issue (like people finding out where you live and you subsequently announcing when you’ll be gone and them breaking into your house… well you get the idea). Overall I am also proud that elected government officials have responded to the scenario by writing letters to Apple, and I am curious as to what Apple will say.
If you own a Smartphone will you stop using LBS? Either way… why?