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Amazon Granted Location Tracking Patent 68

bizwriter writes "A new patent for Amazon just put the company squarely in the location tracking controversy. It covers a system to not only track, through mobile devices, where individuals or aggregated users have been, but to determine where they're likely to go next to better target ads, coupons, or other messages that could appear on a mobile phone or on displays that individuals are likely to see in their travels. The system could also use someone's identity to further tailor the marketing according to demographic information."
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Amazon Granted Location Tracking Patent

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  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @10:40AM (#38369628) Homepage Journal

    Then they got nothin'

    The way the budget is shaping up this Christmas, that's all they gonna get.

    Of course, statistics gathered from Geocaching might prove prior art, no?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @11:05AM (#38369888)

    Uh oh, sounds like Apple better get ready for a lawsuit!

    If you missed it, one of the (only) new features of iOS 5 is that it allows you to stalk^W "find" your friends by tracking the GPS on your phone. Plus iAd has tracked your current location for advertising purposes ever since it was introduced.

    Apple may be on the receiving side of another lawsuit pretty soon! Of course, it sounds like Amazon's patent covers something legitimately new by predicting where people are going. All Apple does is spy on you (and your friends) for advertising purposes. (See: built-in, unremoveable Carrier IQ in iOS.)

  • Re:Good for them (Score:2, Informative)

    by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <> on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @11:32AM (#38370190)

    I take it the dictionary was too expensive?

  • Re:Already doing it? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <> on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:17PM (#38370862)

    What pisses me off is that these companies think they have some kind of entitlement to profit off of me and my data. If anyone should be able to monetize and sell my own information, it's me. If they offered to pay me for it, then and only then will I consent to anything.

    Well, if it's Amazon, they did "pay you" for your information. And you did consent to it.

    You chose to shop there for some reason - be it the cheaper prices (the "payment" is the discount), or the convenience of just having it right there rather than drive all over the city. That can effectively be seen as you voluntarily giving up your data for the priviledge of purchasing product from their store.

    You're free to shop elsewhere. Your local whitebox computer store can sell you parts for cash only transactions - no need to give newegg your information. Barnes and Noble run a set of brick and mortar stores that accept anonymous cash, as do many independent bookstores (who can also order in any book you're looking for).

    Sure you'll probably pay more in the end, but you can consider that the price of your data.

  • Re:Good for them (Score:3, Informative)

    by sgt scrub ( 869860 ) <(saintium) (at) (> on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:39PM (#38371104)

    Another shit all stupid fucktard spewing forth shit from ignorance instead of commenting on the topic. When your ignorant of both it is best to shut the fuck up.

    Gage Gage (g[=a]j), n. [F. gage, LL. gadium, wadium; of German
          origin; cf. Goth. wadi, OHG. wetti, weti, akin to E. wed. See
          Wed, and cf. Wage, n.]

    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 (gcide)
    Gage Gage, v. t.
          To measure.
          [1913 Webster]
                      You shall not gage me
                      By what we do to-night. --Shak.
          [1913 Webster]

    Gage Gage, n.
          A measure or standard. See Gauge, n.
          [1913 Webster]

    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 (gcide)
    Gauge Gauge (g[=a]j), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Gauged; p. pr. &
          vb. n. Gauging] [OF. gaugier, F. jauger, cf. OF. gauge
          gauge, measuring rod, F. jauge; of uncertain origin; perh.
          fr. an assumed L. qualificare to determine the qualities of a
          thing (see Qualify); but cf. also F. jalon a measuring
          stake in surveying, and E. gallon.] [Written also gage.]
          [1913 Webster]
          1. To measure or determine with a gauge.
                [1913 Webster]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14, 2011 @12:44PM (#38371182)

    It's one thing when people read the out-of-context summary of a patent and then start bitching about that without reading the actual claims. However, you are even worse, in that the SUMMARY explained that the patent involved predicting where a person will go next. Are you telling me that these scavenger hunts involved predicting where the participants were going to go next? I fail to see that mentioned in your link, nor can I imagine how it would come into play.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"