wi fi

drag2share: How Location Data Is Being Collected, And Why It’s Transforming The Mobile Industry

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/ke8klBGN97I/mobile-location-data-boosts-marketing-2013-9

With over 770 million GPS-enabled smartphones, location data has begun to permeate the entire mobile space. The possibilities for location-based services on mobile go beyond consumer-facing apps like FourSquare and Shopkick. It’s powering advertisements, and many other services — from weather to travel apps.

In a recent report from BI Intelligence on location-based data, we analyze the opportunities emerging from this new local-mobile paradigm.

We specifically examine how location-enabled mobile ads have generated excitement, look at how location-based feature have boosted engagement for apps, and demystify some of the underlying technologies and privacy issues.

Access The Full Report And Data By Signing Up For A Free Trial Today >>

Take a look at this graphic:

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A pure GPS approach and the “lat-long” tags it generates is considered the standard for location data. But there are at least four other methods, sometimes used in combination, for pinpointing location:

  • Cell tower data: When GPS signals can’t reach the device’s GPS chip, which often happens indoors, the device will often report its location by communicating with the cell tower it’s connected to and estimating its distance. It’s less accurate than pure GPS data.
  • Wi-Fi connection: It’s an accurate method but requires an active Wi-Fi hotspot. Wi-Fi locations are matched with GPS coordinates. It can pinpoint a user to a specific storefront, which is why many retailers are rolling out free public Wi-Fi to enable in-store mobile ads.
  • IP address: Location can be gauged by the IP address associated with the data connection. The accuracy of this approach varies between carriers, and is far less reliable than the above methods.
  • User-reported: When users sign up for emails or register for mobile apps and services, they often enter their addresses and zip codes. This data can be translated into GPS coordinates to build a geolocation profile of a single user or user base.
The ability to collect user location data and track it has raised some concerns over privacy. However, Android and iOS give users the ability to opt out of location tracking altogether via their settings.


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Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 news No Comments

drag2share: Android Users: Google Has ALL Your Wi-Fi Passwords (GOOG)

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/46JvzOzUKCg/google-collecting-wi-fi-passwords-2013-9

Computerworld’s Michael Horowitz shares some news that will do little to alleviate worries about Google’s privacy policy:

If an Android device (phone or tablet) has ever logged on to a particular Wi-Fi network, then Google probably knows the Wi-Fi password. Considering how many Android devices there are, it is likely that Google can access most Wi-Fi passwords worldwide.

Some back-of-the-envelope math points us to the estimate that 748 million Android phones will ship this year. That’s phones alone – Android tablets add to that figure.

With this many of its own devices in the wild, it becomes easy to see that Google has access to all order of Wi-Fi passwords.

This is all possible because of a feature that lets you back up and save your data to Google’s servers. This includes the obvious, like backing up your phone book and calendar, but it also snags your Wi-Fi passwords in the process. The feature is presented as a good thing, and by and large it is – if you lose a phone and need to replace it, all your data is backed up thanks to Google. No obnoxious re-entering of all your friends’ and family’s phone numbers, no need to scrounge up the passwords for your various Wi-Fi networks.

If the privacy implications of this outweigh the convenience, you can opt out by unchecking the appropriate box in your settings. Horowitz offers the following instructions on how to navigate to the appropriate dialogue:

  • In A ndroid 2.3.4, go to Settings, then Privacy. On an HTC device, the option that gives Google your Wi-Fi password is “Back up my settings”. On a Samsung device, the option is called “Back up my data”. The only description is “Back up current settings and application data”. No mention is made of Wi-Fi passwords.
  • In Android 4.2, go to Settings, then “Backup and reset”. The option is called “Back up my data”. The description says “Back up application data, Wi-Fi passwords, and other settings to Google servers”.

It’s also worth noting that like all personal data stored in Google, humans aren’t looking at your Wi-Fi passwords. This tool is simply a convenient feature for Android users who don’t want to keep re-entering their passwords.


drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

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Friday, September 13th, 2013 news No Comments

Apple Buys Indoor Mapping Company WifiSLAM

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-buys-indoor-mapping-company-wifislam-2013-3

WiFi Slam app

Apple has bought WifiSLAM, a company providing indoor mobile location services, which lets people figure out their location inside a building using the strength of its Wi-Fi signals.

Indoor mobile location is a burgeoning field as more and more people use their smartphones inside buildings – with at least two Finnish companies, Walkbase and IndoorAtlas, offering their own systems for zeroing in on where they are, and a map of their surroundings.

Apple confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it had bought the company, though it didn’t comment on the estimated $20m price tag. It said that it “buys smaller technology companies from time to time”.

WifiSLAM uses the variation in different networks’ Wi-Fi signal strengths to triangulate the user’s location. The company co-founders include a former Google staffer, and has backing from Don Dodge, who worked at both Google and Microsoft.

Walkbase has been developing its offering since 2009, and presently has an Android app offering. IndoorAtlas uses variations in the earth’s magnetic field to determine the user’s location – meaning it doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi or other data, and doesn’t need hardware.

Finnish mobile phone company Nokia already offers Destination Maps, an indoor mapping service.

For Apple, improving its maps offering has become increasingly important since it dumped Google’s mapping service for its iPhone and iPad products last September. That met with widespread criticism, and forced chief executive Tim Cook to issue a grovelling apology, and saw the ousting of Scott Forstall, who had been in charge of the iPhone software division, and of the head of the mapping team.

 

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Monday, March 25th, 2013 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5884415/travelling-in-modern-china-requires-serious-secret-agent-skills

Travelling in Modern Day China Requires Cold War Era Secret Agent SkillsIf Kenneth G. Lieberthal were anything but a China expert at the Brookings institution, his travelling-in-China security procedures would read like the product of a paranoid mind that watched too many spy movies as a kid:

He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings “loaner” devices, which he erases before he leaves the United States and wipes clean the minute he returns. In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery, for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, “the Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop.”

Talk about overkill, right? Well he’s not alone. The Times reports that these seemingly paranoid precautions are par for the course for just about anyone with valuable information including government officials, researchers, and even normal businessmen who do business in China.

But what about the rest of us? I may not have any valuable state secrets or research that needs protecting but that doesn’t mean I want the Chinese government snooping on my internetting when I visit my grandparents (especially when the consequences can be so severe). In the past, I’ve relied on a combination of VPNs, TOR, and password-protecting everything I can, but now it sounds like even that isn’t enough. Or maybe it’s totally overkill given my general unimportance in the grand scheme of things. Dear readers, I ask you, how much security is enough when it comes to the average person on vacation? [NY Times]

Image credit: Shutterstock/Rynio Productions

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Sunday, February 12th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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