The use of geolocation in mobile devices

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What is geolocation and how is it used? Can GPS in the phone be used to track users? Have a look at our article.

Geolocation – how does it work?

Information about the current location is currently used in many applications. However, the use of geolocation is not always justified. Despite this, a large number of applications want to know where we are at all times.

Geolocation is based on communication standards such as GPS and allows us to determine our current location. It comes in handy in all sorts of apps, such as Uber, Pokemon Go, Google Maps and many others. Then it’s the basis of how useful services work – we know where we are and where to find something we need. However, apps also track us beyond these applications. Geolocations are commonly processed in big data centers.

Geolocation data – a new category of information

It might seem that information about where a person frequents is a fairly minor invasion of her privacy. In reality, however, geolocation really tells us a lot about the other person, based on certain models. With access to their date of birth, we have the perfect research subject. Who actually needs this information?

Based on geolocation data, we can determine, for example, whether the observed person has a lover, how much he/she probably earns, how often he/she travels for leisure purposes and what he/she drives to work. This data will be useful for practically… everyone. Look around you, especially if you are in a city. We will notice hairdressing salons, stores, service points, parcel machines and many, many other things on which somebody earns money. They all may care about our data. If they are using targeted ads, then we can be 100% sure that they are using information about our location. This is an increasingly popular method to get new customers. It gives spectacular effects which translate into real profit.

Geolocation is a marketing potential we have never dreamed of

Geolocation is something that keeps modern advertisers awake at night. And it is not because of the limitation of its possibilities or the negative impact on the product perception. It’s a question of its unlimited potential within the scope of content customization for a given user. The more we know about an individual, the easier it will be to sell them a specific product.

For example: an advertiser sees that a person has recently visited a furniture store. In a nutshell, this could mean that he is currently planning a renovation. So we should “bombard” her with ads for sinks and cabinets. In this way, we can monitor the entire environment. We see that the hairdresser’s, which was attended by the observed individual, has closed – let’s target him with an appropriate advertisement of the competition.

Map of behaviors, habits, routines, ways of traveling, spending free time and relationships with other people gives incredible opportunities. Another example – we see that someone unexpectedly left home at three in the morning. Based on the timetable and the information that this person has been traveling by bus, we can deduce that he or she does not have a car. In such a situation, we can, for example, send a discount coupon to apps that offer passenger transportation.

This works. Everyone can check it on their own. Sometimes we can be amazed at how relevant the ads displayed to us are. More and more often we can meet a situation when someone just thinks about buying new shoes and these already appear on banners in his browser. This is not a result of some mysterious conspiracy, eavesdropping or mind reading. It’s due to behavioral science, marketing and psychology – just that and so much more. But it wouldn’t be possible without a little technology in the form of a phone that has a chip for wireless connectivity.

Is turning off GPS a way to avoid tracking?

Many people continue to mistakenly believe that they only share information about their location using the GPS standard. In practice, however, the opposite is true. Most of the data about where someone is located is transmitted based on the IP standard. Remember that every mobile device also has its own IP address.

This basic communication protocol allows us to be tracked without any major obstacles. Whether we are sitting in the office, at home, or in the museum next to our bus stop – everywhere. If we are using a public or private network, our trace is extremely clear.

When we are concerned about security, privacy, and avoiding sharing data with strangers, we should not only turn off GPS, we need to take other steps as well. It seems to be a good idea to install a VPN, or possibly turn on airplane mode. However, it is not always worth to go for such solutions. Personalized advertisements give the potential to take advantage of satisfying services, to make a good purchase that we currently need. The action of geolocation is also used when using practical services, such as Google Maps, for example.

Main article photo: Designed by Freepik

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