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Palm Pre “Phone Home” Feature May Be Worse Than Thought


You might recall that the Palm Pre phones home to report a users location. We may now have a reason as to why it does it. Location based adverts.

All together now. Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?

The Boy Genius has gotten a tip to this effect via a US Patent that Palm has filed:

Based upon the location data from the appointment and the location of device 310 (or other alternative location provided by the user), processor 340 may then provide advertisement data (step 386), for example, along the driving route between the location of the appointment and the current location of device 310 within a predetermined distance of the location of the appointment and/or the current location of device 310, and so on.

Well that’s craptastic. It’s actually worse than that according to The Boy Genius:

Palm’s concept goes even further to pull appointment information out of your calendar in order to serve contextual ads based on your destination location in addition to your current location. While this concept is pretty brilliant, it’s also remarkably invasive and just a teeny tiny bit frightening.

No kidding! Palm really needs to come out and deal with this, and they need to do this without marketing spin. Otherwise, the backlash against them might just do more than hurt their public image.

It may spell their doom.

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