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CNET News Video: How mobile tracking can benefit consumers
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CNET News Video: How mobile tracking can benefit consumers

1:35 /

Apple, Google, and Microsoft have recently all come under scrutiny for how they've handled their users' location information on their mobile devices. CNET's Kara Tsuboi reports on why that data is so valuable, and even beneficial to the consumer, when used with consent.

-Your iPhone is recording where you are and what you're doing without you knowing about it. -That harsh, uncomfortable news struck a nerve with smartphone users concerned with privacy and security experts like CNET's Declan McCullagh. -Apple, Google, and Microsoft are all collecting information from their phones. I think the right thing in this case is disclosure and allow opt out, even if it means they don't get the benefits. -Benefits like real-time traffic maps and location-based services like deals and discounts. -We use the location provided by the carrier networks to be able to deliver you a message when you're nearby to something that's-- that's interesting. -Alistair Goodman is the CEO of Placecast--a San Francisco-based company that uses cellphone location information to connect brands with consumers through that ever-present mobile phone. -In the case of our programs, consumers double opt in, they can opt out at any time, and we only use location information to send you an offer. -I decided to give it a try with one of Placecast's clients. I'm gonna sign up for The North Face Summit Signals program. Press submit. Within seconds, I got another message asking me to confirm that I wanna receive these location-based messages. Now that I'm signed up, in the future, I'll get messages alerting me to store deals when I'm nearby or even outdoor wilderness tips. -We're heading towards a time where location is going to become a part of everything we do on the phone. -And companies like Google and Apple and others realize this is a huge opportunity. In San Francisco, I'm Kara Tsuboi, CNET.com for CBS News.

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