[Geowanking] MS local.live.com & privacy (lack of)

Mike Liebhold mnl at well.com
Tue Dec 13 13:46:30 PST 2005


Drew from Zhrodague wrote:

>     Is Microsoft really using Intel's package? Isn't that Placelab?


Placelab  is distributed freely  on sourceforge, but was developed 100% 
by researchers at Intel's Seattle Lab, but they've had lots of exchanges 
with Microsoft Labs across town.  Although Microsoft has done some of 
their own work on Location Finder, it is/was arguably inspired or 
heavily influenced in large part by Placelab. While  similar packages 
were developed later by private companies like Ekahau, and Skyhook, and 
there was a related research effort at IBM's research lab in Zurich, 
Placelab is unique in that it's  beacon independent  (works with Wifi, 
Cell towers, and even infrared.) and runs on a J2ME paltform on, I 
think,  over 30 devices by now, and was designed specifically to enable 
user's to determine their location without informing the network.

Google returns 653 hits for  "placelab privacy" 
http://www.google.com/search?q=placelab+privacy&btnG=+%BB+

Including a link to a some  articles with a very succinct discussions 
of  Placelab's privacy focus:

http://ntrg.cs.tcd.ie/undergrad/4ba2.05/group1/

and this:

http://www.tgdaily.com/2005/07/28/can_wifi_alleviate_privacy_concerns_in_location_based_services/

including a quote from Google on the subject:

"Mobile search services with positioning capabilities are a reality 
today. The technology is already here." said Deep Nishar, director of 
product management at Google. The single problem that keeps Google from 
rolling out such a service circles around how to preserve a user's 
privacy."  <file:///Volumes/Firefox/>
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