Pre Tracks Your Location and Tells Palm All About It

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Palm Pre's webOS, besides juggling your life or whatever that creepy girl says, sends information back to the mothership periodically, like what apps you've installed and how much you've used 'em. And location data. Wait. What? Updated.

That's right, part of the data package it delivers to Palm includes your GPS location, according to Joey Hess, on top of ever webOS app you use, and how long you use it:

The first thing sent is intended to be my GPS location. It's the same location I get if I open the map app on the Pre. Not very accurate in this case, but I've seen it be accurate enough to find my house before.

{ "errorCode": 0, "timestamp": 1249855555954.000000, "latitude": 36.594108, "longitude": -82.183260, "horizAccuracy": 2523, "heading": 0, "velocity": 0, "altitude": 0, "vertAccuracy": 0 }


Which their privacy policy totally allows.

Pre Central makes the most out of the info, breaking down their privacy policy and who they're allowed to share it with.


Palm will most definitely be attempting to "clear up" this bit of information, but in the meantime, what's apparent is that the Pre uploads your GPS location to Palm to the best of its ability, and that's just feels a little creepy, even if we're all totally used to broadcasting our location all the time anyway.

Update: As expected, Palm comes through with a clarification, via PhoneScoop:

"Palm takes privacy very seriously, and offers users ways to turn data collecting services on and off. Our privacy policy is like many policies in the industry and includes very detailed language about potential scenarios in which we might use a customer's information, all toward a goal of offering a great user experience. For instance, when location based services are used, we collect their information to give them relevant local results in Google Maps. We appreciate the trust that users give us with their information, and have no intention to violate that trust." [emphasis ours]


As Eric notes, they don't exactly mention how to opt out, though. But yes, ordinary enough. [Joey Hess, Pre Central]