Future of location services on OM

Stefan Monnier monnier at iro.umontreal.ca
Mon Jan 12 15:22:18 CET 2009

> I'm just curious how much this is built into the Android code. If any
> Android phone can call the mothership to get the information, why
> shouldn't we be able to do that? There are unlocked Andorid phones on
> sale - do they have cell-based positioning disabled??? I would wager
> that it isn't....  So what is the limit if is in the Android code?
> Phones sold by Google? Phones supported with Android? Any phone
> running Android? Any phone running an OS based on Android?

Think about it: the provider cannot reliably tell if your phone logs
this data or not.  So if you write your own code that does that, they'll
never know, so even if their contract doesn't allow you to do it,
they'll never be able to enforce it (and won't even try, I'd guess).
If Google distributes an OS that does that, the providers will know, so
Google has to arrange some contract with them, to avoid prosecution.

The providers don't care about individual uses, only about the
larger picture.

So, it's OK to write and distribute such code for the FR, but if OM
starts distributing it they may be exposing themselves, although they're
probably marginal enough that it doesn't matter much (yet).


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