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Apr 2010 | No Comment



Statement from CTIA – Protecting privacy

CTIA-The Wireless Association® Senior Vice President and General Counsel Michael Altschul issued the following statement after he testified on location-based services before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet and Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection: “For more than 15 years, CTIA has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure location privacy while balancing the legitimate needs by law enforcement and in cases of emergency. Along with our members and other interested parties, we voluntarily developed the industry’s ‘Best Practices and Guidelines’ in 2008 that would promote and protect the privacy of wireless customers’ location information.” “When the Wireless Communications and Public Safety Enhancement Act of 1999 was passed, there was a widely held assumption that LBS would involve a wireless carrier having access to a user’s location information and then using or sharing that information to provide a location-based service. Due to the rapid evolution toward open platforms, the tremendous consumer adoption of smart phones, and the increased prevalence of GPS-enabled LBS applications that can be downloaded and enabled without any involvement or knowledge by a wireless carrier, CTIA is in the midst of updating the guidelines. While the new guidelines have yet to be finalized, rest assured they will balance public safety’s needs with consumers’ privacy. “As technology continues to evolve, we would encourage Congress to clarify the terms under which location information may be released to law enforcement. When dealing with these issues, we also urge Congress to recognize the interstate nature of location-based services and the mobility of wireless users so they take a national approach so customers’ privacy are maintained while fostering innovation, investment, and the introduction of new location based services by wireless carriers, device manufacturers, operating systems developers, and applications creators.”

Vodafone closes down Wayfinder

Vodafone has announced the proposed closure of its Wayfinder Systems AB subsidiary. The competitive environment for turn-by-turn navigation has changed significantly in the last six months as competitors have chosen to make this service free to customers.

ATX proposes new approach

ATX Group unveiled a proposal to help accelerate deployment of the European Commission’s initiative to enable vehicles to automatically notify local emergency responders in the event of a crash and pinpoint the location of the emergency from anywhere within the continent. ATX proposes using one approach, which relies upon a telematics or Third-Party Service Provider (TPSP) to move the voice call from the car to the TPSP via SMS technology and in-vehicle satellite positioning technology. The focus of the Commission’s second approach entails directing the call into local 1-1-2 response centres. Based on the scope of the eCall data received, the automated messages could also convey additional crash severity information as well as the access code to a Web portal with the associated data. The self-dispatch approach offers a significant advantage to vehicle manufacturers because it provides a thin client approach.

Taking GPS indoors using TV signals

Rosum Corporation announced the launch of ALLOY™, a location and synchronization solution for indoor and urban environments. It was developed in partnership with Siano utilizes broadcast TV signals to provide precise frequency, timing and location information.

Tracking devices by Locate Mobiles

Locate Mobiles launched 3 new personal mobile GPS location tracing products, a watch, a PC pen, and the rechargeable GPS matchbox. To check the watch’s location, a user calls the sim card placed in the GPS watch from a mobile phone. The GPS chip determines its precise location and then sends a text message back to the phone with a map link. The product uses Google Maps, which is free. The GPS Pen is a plug-and-play movement recorder. Like an aircraft black box recorder it stores all its movements on an internal memory chip and has a built in LCD screen. A less expensive option for vehicle tracking.

Road Pilot includes 30,000 Indian tourist locations

MapmyIndia has launched Road Pilot, a GPS navigator pre-loaded with maps of 620 Indian cities, 576,000 towns and villages, 30,000 tourist locations and 2 million unique destinations. It provides information about hotels, tourist locations, ATMs, petrol pumps and eating joints. Neither SIM card nor GPRS connection is required for this GPS navigator. It offers an ‘always on’ GPS navigation experience, even in places where mobile phone GPS navigation would have failed.

“SatGuide” mascot

SatNav Technologies launched “SatGuide”. The idea was to create an image for the company and its many GPS based products and services to rally around and establish a very strong connect with its target audiences. “We believe that the “SatGuide” mascot is an initiative that will provide a greater connect with our consumers with better awareness about GPS technology and its applications,” said Amit Prasad, Founder and CEO, SatNav Technologies.

Mio’s PND based on u-blox GPS

Mio has selected u-blox’ AMY-5M GPS module to power the Moov V780, a high-end PND and multimedia player. It combines personal navigation with multimedia features including web browsing, high-definition TV, photo/ music management, etc.

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