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.

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Showing 3 of 12 comments
Ezekiel 25:17
Nov 18, 2013 10:02 PM CST
Smart electronic LCD billboards are able to do some sniffing of the cars that pass. The sensors are located ahead on each side. Many of the ads that pop up while you pass are not just random ads. They know the radio stations you are tuned to in your car and can adjust advertising accordingly thus having a better impact. They also sniff out bluetooth and wifi activity to come up with a very accurate traffic count. They don't try to log into your phone or car's electronics, they only want a count of devices. They can fine tune the ad rates that way. Showing the advertiser exactly how many cars passed the electronic billboard at the display time of the ad helps the ad company justify the high costs of the spot.
irisht58
Nov 11, 2013 6:57 AM CST
Is Ralph Nader still alive?
TwoSheds
Nov 11, 2013 3:22 AM CST
Then why does the NSA have to spend a trillion dollars to track us?