Google Working on Real-Life Tracking: Report
It'll keep tabs on you, and sell data to advertisers
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Nov 10, 2013 9:31 AM CST
In this Oct. 17, 2012 file photo, a Google logo is painted on the side of a plywood box at Google offices in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

(Newser) – What if tracking cookies didn't just track your web activity—they tracked your every movement and reported it back to advertisers? A program Google is beta-testing does just that, ad industry sources tell Digiday. The program would track consumers' smartphone GPS data even if they didn't have any Google apps open, sending along info so specific that Google could tell if you were in a specific store. It would then use that information to sell ads, and verify their effectiveness.

If, for example, you searched for a place to eat, restaurants that were physically nearby could bid to show up as Google's top ad. If you went inside, Google could report that back to the restaurant. Google already collects location data from Android devices on a nearly constant basis, assuming users have enabled Location Services. Tracking iOS customers is a little trickier, but many use Google apps, and most don't realize that apps continue running even after they've clicked out of them.