I am unsure of what Google actually thinks it is doing with all of these tracking tools. I am also very unsure of the people who actually buy into the “it makes jobs easier, man!” argument that tags along with one of these revolutionary products of Google. However, no amount of privacy advocates’ rhetoric and powerful written oratory removes Google’s resolve to make more and more of these privacy-killing tools.
The latest from Google is Google Maps Coordinate. It is a little bit like Latitude, except, it is always on (more or less) and works inside buildings where, usually, Global Positioning System (GPS) cannot detect the device that it is receiving transmission from.
Google claims that for $15 per month per employee, Coordinate will allow for rapid tracking and deployment of groups of people wherever they are needed. Daniel Chu, Google’s Senior Product Manager said:-
“Imagine you are a call centre operator at an electric utility company. A call comes in reporting a downed powerline in one of the northern suburbs of your city, and an entire neighbourhood is without power. You need to quickly dispatch one of your line repairers to the site, which is almost an hour away. To save time and get the power back up quickly, you want to know which line repairers are already in the area and send them the relevant information about the job. That’s where Google Maps Coordinate comes in.”
So, yes, it helps makes things easier, but at what cost? Chu also said that the workers will be able to turn off tracking as and when they require – for example, while they are at lunch or something of that sort. But turning it off at any time kind of beats the point, does it not? Given a choice, I would keep that thing turned off at all times.
Currently Google Maps Coordinate is Android only, with an iOS version planned for the next year.