Mozilla’s Latest Innovation: Geolocation Data Services with Privacy Features
The latest technology that Mozilla is currently working on is geolocation data service using Wi-Fi signals and cell tower. Mozilla claims that this technology will provide the developers an alternative, which is more privacy-aware than its competitors. The development of this application is still in its infancy, and Firefox is focusing its efforts towards the relevance and application of the technology in mobiles. However, mobiles will be able to evaluate their current location through the laptop and will not even need to have GPS hardware to do this.
As far as the domain of geolocation data technology is concerned, there are many players in the market and gaining lead is particularly tough. Key players who rule this market include MaxMind, Google, IPligence and Neustar IP Intelligence. However, despite all the tough competition, Mozilla has chosen to make its foray in this domain because it believes that the market still lacks a public service option. Mozilla is one of the most successful open source software developers in the IT industry today, and it is its reputation of being the same that is expected to help it achieve its set target and address issues like privacy.
In fact, privacy is the aspect of geolocation data services that Mozilla is playing its cards on because none of the other market player who provides these services has had the motivation to explore this aspect. However, it is necessary to understand that an assessment and understanding of the privacy aspect will pose innumerable technological challenges. One of the challenges that are obvious to occur is getting real data.
The data for the geological data services will be provided by the IP address information, Wi-Fi information and cell towers. There is no requirement of getting this data monetized. This data can be directly made accessible to the public. In addition to this, Mozilla is presently, in a good position, to start working on this technology considering that fact that it has easy access of the Firefox data of both computers and mobile phones.
Mozilla has already implemented the experimental version of the model and basic service coverage can be accessed in several locations. The service is available in its most fundamental form in countries like Australia, U.S., Russia, Indonesia and Brazil. Besides, people can also download the stumbler application of Firefox to get access to their data. There have been no reported issues against the basic experimental version’s functioning yet. However, its success and failure can be adjudged only once ample data is available.
Currently, the biggest player of this field is Google. However, it has faced several allegations and legal repercussions for sniffing into private data of people and storing information from Wi-Fi networks. Besides, the general geolocation data service, Google also offers a Maps Engine, which can be used by companies for building custom maps as a step towards building their businesses. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if Mozilla will be able to dethrone Google or not. Although, the technological innovation proposed by Mozilla looks promising, whether it will be able to match the hype and survive the difficult market competition is yet to be seen.