Posts Tagged ‘Rao’

Try and Find Me

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Rao and Minakakis wrote on the current (in 2004) and future state of location-based services (LBS). In their article, they touched on the growing interest in LBS, the requirements for growth, and the types of LBS. While 2004 was not too long ago, nine years is eons for modern technology, and I’m curious how much has changed since. Nonetheless, it is a clear and well-written piece that thoroughly scans over the important aspects of a field that stands at the heart of modern GIS applications.

Until now, my understanding of LBS has been primarily based in how advertisers could market goods and services to targeted individuals who are in an optimal location to be influenced. Thus, my naïveté had resulted in a cynical view of LBS and its exploitative power. However, it is clear that the field encompasses more than marketing; it serves navigation and personalization functions, as well.

Beyond the technical issues regarding positional accuracy, I am also leery of the privacy concerns inherent in any LBS. In the case of personalization, many consumers may opt in to various services for convenience or for a novel experience (i.e. because it’s cool). But there are countless times when consent to be (essentially) “followed” is given as part of something completely unrelated. For instance, Facebook will show advertisements based in the location of the user’s IP address. Considering the easy accessibility of ad-block software, I would not be surprised if advertisers aim for more explicit consent in the future, likely stressing the convenience and novelty aspects of personalization in a positive spin of location exploitation.

– JMonterey