Business Insider has received some leaked emails from Larry Page that highlight how vitally important the location based tracking data is to Google. The emails obtained from Larry Page and other top Google Executives show that they need mobile tracking data to pick up where street view cars left off.
Business Insider is reporting, via the San Jose Mercury News, that when Larry Page found out that OEM partner Motorola was going to use Skyhook for geotracking data rather than Google he sent out an email asking “Can I get a response to this”. One of those who responded to Page’s email was Android chief Andy Rubin who reportedly told Page that the tracking data was “extremely valuable to Google” since the street view cars weren’t working out.
More after the break
In several states Google’s Street View data gathering cars were busted for taking data off open wi-fi networks without permission.
In another internal response Steve Lee, the head of Google’s location based services wrote to Page
“I cannot stress enough how important Google’s wifi location database is to our Android and mobile product strategy … We absolutely do care about this (decision by Motorola) because we need wifi data collection in order to maintain and improve our wifi location service.”
Most of this data is gathered without any tie to the actual customer just an SSID that goes back to the device. It’s a given that a device with location based services will have the ability to gather this data. Google doesn’t use this data for direct market to individual phone owners. They also don’t sell this data, rather they make it available via their location based services which of course area always opt in.