Google Maps Can Track You Inside a Building

SatelliteDid you realize that Google Maps 6.0 has a startling feature: indoor mapping. Now, walls no longer hide data, making views inside shopping malls and the like possible through the indoor positioning system (IPS).

Privacy? What privacy? Discuss.

While a Global Positioning System can track someone with an accuracy between 10-25 meters, it fails when walls of concrete stand in its way. Yet a week ago, Broadcom released a BCM4752 chip that supports IPS technology (through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC) and will soon find a way into our smartphones. Because it combines GPS triangulation with accelerometer, gyroscope and altimeter sensors, it can track your movements without using a wireless network.

IPS tracking technology uses Wi-Fi (Google) or Bluetooth (Nokia) to exactly triangulate your indoor position. Infrared and acoustic analysis may also be used, even if their signals are noisy.

Once IPS technology is deployed, it might change the way we interact with our smart devices. With IPS, we can precisely track our position, count the steps we’ve taken or the hours we sit at our desk. Yet who’s to say our smartphones won’t continue to track us, wherever we may be?

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