Google unveils GPS-less handset locator technology

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If your smartphone came with a built-in GPS receiver, you can choose to just overlook Google’s latest technology, but if your mobile is among the 85-percent (or so) out there lacking an integrated GPS module, listen up. The search giant has revealed new software (dubbed My Location) that enables non-GPS-equipped phones to be pinpointed within three miles of their actual location. Google is claiming that it can provide “neighborhood-level” data, and that pressing “0” while in the app will enable users to skip the task of entering in a starting address when looking up directions. Notably, the system is not set up to collect phone numbers or any other personal details, and for those still paranoid, it can indeed be switched off. Currently, the tracking database still has a few gaps to be filled — namely locales in Europe and all of China / Japan — but Google could very well use the location data to eventually provide targeted ads to those who use it.

[Image courtesy of TracyAndMatt, thanks to everyone who sent this in]


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