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Mozilla Developing Geolocation Data Service For Public ­se


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geolocation illustration

Credit: Gumtree

Mozilla plans to offer developers a more privacy-aware geolocation service using cell towers and Wi-Fi signals. Mozilla notes that although there are several commercial firms offering geolocation data, there is still no large public service option. Moreover, as an open source software developer, Mozilla believes it is in a better position to address privacy issues. "In order to do this assessment, we need to understand the technological challenges and get real data," the company says.

Mozilla is in the early stages of the project, which will be mobile-focused, although laptops without global positioning system hardware also could use it to quickly identify their approximate location. The data would be provided by cell towers, Wi-Fi and IP address information, and it would not have to be monetized. Moreover, the data could be made available to the public.

Mozilla has access to Firefox data on both mobile and desktop PCs, giving the company a good place to start. People can provide Mozilla with data for the project by installing its stumbler application. "In order to do this assessment, we need to understand the technological challenges and get real data," the company says.

From Network World
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