There is an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) today about how Google and Apple collect and store information from personal computers and mobile devices. Apple allegedly gathers information from Macs that are connected to WiFi networks while Google collects information from WiFi connected computers that use the Google Chrome browser (or the Google toolbar for Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox.)
The WSJ states that in most cases the companies request user permission prior to gathering information about users’ wireless networks and nearby networks. It is unclear what the term “most cases” actually means.
Both companies use computer-location data to build highly precise databases of Wi-Fi networks, which they use, in turn, to locate phones and computers attached to those networks.
Purportedly, all of this high-tech surveillance can also be used to enhance the user experience when you visit places like Google Maps. Though there may be an entire generation of users who find targeted marketing appropriate for their lifestyle, there is also a generation that feels inundated by the complexity of it all…
For the generation that prefers privacy over targeted marketing, there is Cocoon.