Scooby Doo, Where are You?

Location Based Services (LBS) have become a major component of the marketing strategies of service providers. With the rapid development of technologies, especially in the mobile arena, it is now easier than ever for providers to deliver focused services. Although Rao does a great job of highlighting the potential of LBS, in reality he underestimates the huge impact it has had since the writing of his paper. Rao predicted that by 2006, LBS would reach 680 million global customers. However, in our modern age of connectivity, LBS is most likely available to over a billion people worldwide.

LBS has and will continue to offer every improving potential to both service providers and customers. Rao highlights some of the advantages of LBS to consumers, who can have access up to date information on maps, driving directions, yellow pages, and locator services. As technology has developed, LBS is now integrated into many everyday applications. For example, consumer applications, such as “find my friends”, allow you to track the exact location of other users (with their approval of course). LBS have also become very important to service providers. With their ability to track a customers geographic habits, they have the ability to tailor business concerns, such as advertisements, that may be more pertinent to the customers interest.

Although LBS hold may benefits, as with many new technologies there are privacy issues. As service providers continue to gather and store huge amounts of location based data, it raises several questions such as- What should be done with this data? Who has access? Is it anonymous?

-Victor Manuel


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