Location Sharing Insanity

I was curious recently when an advertising-connected location services company approached us. They want our location data in exchange for money.

Well, at Turtler we’ll never do that, as our specialty is location-sharing with absolute data security and privacy, which among many other things means we will never share location or personal data with any other third party, especially advertisers.

We believe that where someone goes, who they are with and what they are doing is very personal, and infringing on that info is invasive with many risks.

So, I was shocked at this list they sent me of requirements that partners in their network have to share with them:

Mandatory:

  • timestamp — representing the time a location record was created on device
  • user ID — ideally an internal user ID to assist debugging or a one-way hashed version
  • advertising ID — For iOS devices, for Android
  • advertising ID type — IDFA or AAID
  • limit_ad_tracking flag — For iOS, this corresponds to whether the iOS user has opted out of ad tracking. For Android, this corresponds to opt of out interest-based ads
  • latitude
  • longitude
  • horizontal_accuracy 2

Optional (more included, more valuable):

  • altitude
  • vertical accuracy
  • speed
  • Course — The direction in which the device is travelling, measured from North (0 degrees)
  • IP address
  • connection type — Is the user connected via wifi, cellular, other, or unknown?
  • wifi SSID (if connected to wifi)
  • is_charging
  • location context — either “foreground”: i.e. location observation triggered via user interaction with app; or “background”
  • location method — GPS, wifi, beacon, other, unknown
  • provider ID — if you are aggregating data from multiple other data sources, it’s helpful to be able to identify each source separately
  • device manufacturer
  • device model
  • OS version
  • User email address
  • Carrier Name
  • device language

Wow, look at that list. Do you want all that private and potentially controversial information shared with third parties, and sold onwards.

Neither do we, and we’ll never do it.

We’ll go into this issue more soon in a blog post on on our blog.