Location-Based Services

Appeals Court rules location tracking needs a warrant

Appeals Court rules location tracking needs a warrant

A court has ruled obtaining information on the location data in your device without a warrant violates the fourth amendment of the Constitution. In a robbery trial in Florida, part of the evidence against the convicted was his cell phone location data. Noting he made calls around the time and place the robberies occurred, the state could effectively place him at the scene.

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Google rumored to offer “Nearby” service in future update

Google rumored to offer “Nearby” service in future update

Social apps like Swarm want to be more contextual, attempting to know where you’re at and who you might know nearby. By tracking your location, the aim is to get you communicating with friends, even hanging out if you can. A new report suggests Google is doing the same, building it straight into Android in an upcoming Play Services release. Dubbed “Nearby”, the goal is to let devices communicate without you having to do a thing.

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GE’s bright idea: Bytelight brings iBeacon tech to lighting

GE’s bright idea: Bytelight brings iBeacon tech to lighting

As the iBeacon platform starts to take shape, retailers will start to take notice of the promise it holds. Contextually aware beacons placed strategically throughout a store can push timely information to a smartphone, paving the way for increased sales and data gathering about how customers move through a store. Finding a place to put the beacons may be tough, but GE has a bright idea.

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Qualcomm spins off Gimbal Bluetooth beacon business

Qualcomm spins off Gimbal Bluetooth beacon business

Qualcomm has spun off Gimbal, its location-based services system compatible with Apple's iBeacon, into a standalone company, offering retailers, entertainment venues, and businesses proximity-sensing and geofencing. The independent Gimbal, Inc. will push what Qualcomm described as "the digital sixth sense", feeding personalized information to users iOS and Android devices based on where they are in stores or stadium.

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Big surprise: Facebook will eventually push ads with “Nearby Friends”

Big surprise: Facebook will eventually push ads with “Nearby Friends”

Facebook plans to eventually use its new "Nearby Friends" feature to power new location-based adverts and marketing, the social network has conceded, potentially souring what was generally seen as a privacy-mindful launch of the functionality. Nearby Friends began rolling out last week as a new addition to Facebook's mobile apps, optionally showing those on your friendslist your location, and making it easier to organize impromptu meet-ups. However, Facebook has more in mind than promoting socializing.

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Facebook Nearby Friends tentatively tracks friendslist

Facebook Nearby Friends tentatively tracks friendslist

Facebook has added a new feature to its mobile apps, Nearby Friends, allowing users of the social network to find those on their friendslist when they're nearby, though Facebook is clearly wary of a privacy backlash. The feature, which will be rolled out to the Android and iOS apps over the coming weeks, shows your GPS position and that of your friends on a map; however, Facebook is turning it off by default, and relying on users to opt-in instead.

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Apple outs iBeacon specs (and they’re Android-agnostic)

Apple outs iBeacon specs (and they’re Android-agnostic)

Apple has detailed its specifications for iBeacon, its Bluetooth LE indoor location-based services platform, though exact details of the system are still locked down by the Cupertino firm's demands for secrecy. The specifications have been released under NDA, BEEKn reports, though according to information from those familiar with them predominantly concern how iBeacon devices will be branded, not how they are technically different from other Bluetooth LE transmitters.

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Philips LED lights flicker out a challenge to iBeacon and Gimbal

Philips LED lights flicker out a challenge to iBeacon and Gimbal

Philips has its own plans for location-based services in stores and entertainment venues, eschewing low-power Bluetooth by instead using LED lighting that can communicate with a smartphone app and guide customers around. Dubbed Intelligent Lighting, the connected retail lighting system not only illuminates the store, as you'd expect, but acts as a positioning grid which the smartphone can use to figure out where it is currently.

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