Google's head of mobile services is looking for your trust. Sharing your current location with a data-hoarder like Google might seem unattractive to some people, but greater trust could open the way to a whole range of location-based services, said Deep Nishar, Google's mobile product management director.

"Technology is available to tie location with what kind of searches you provide and what kind of results you provide," Nishar said in an interview Thursday. "However, that depends on what the mobile operator is willing to provide to a service provider like Google and also the privacy laws of the country."

The approximate location of a cell phone user can be determined using the cell phone towers to which the phone connects, and some advanced handsets include GPS (global positioning system) receivers capable of accuracy down to a few meters.

Armed with this information, results from searches on mobile phones could be tailored to the location of the user at that time. For example, a search for a bookstore or restaurant would count the closest shops as the most relevant, while a search for a movie would provide a list of starting times at local cinemas. However, in many countries local laws or privacy concerns stop carriers from sharing location data with companies like Google.

For that to change, companies like Google and cell phone carriers will have to gain the acceptance of users, said Nishar.

"It's more a matter of trust and really understanding," he said. "People don't think twice about giving their credit information online but they might think twice about saying 'Oh, I'm driving here and I don't want that to be known.'"

Get the full story at InfoWorld