Various phone carriers in Australia including Telstra are watching the roll out of a new product called iAirSage which can deliver transport information by tracking mobile phones. The information will allow them to track transport useage as well as the movements of people.
The US Company currently delivers vehicle traffic information to Google Maps and has recently secured the rights in the USA to tap into the tracking of mobile phones on freeways and metro area’s and at transport hubs.
iAirSage is currently working with US phone Company Verizon Wireless to tap into the location data transmitted by its 80 million U.S. subscribers.
The mobile phone data relay information constantly about their whereabouts to Verizon, whether through smart-phones with a GPS chip or by communicating with cell towers. Digesting this stream of data, the carrier can get a fairly accurate reading on where you are and how fast you’re moving.
“It’s pretty refined,” said John Johnson, a spokesman for Verizon, about pinpointing a phone’s location.
That information gets immediately transferred to AirSage, which uses it to infer how packed the highways are. AirSage’s clients can use that information in their applications.
Although Verizon’s subscribers can’t opt out of providing information about their every location, the carrier says the data it transmits to AirSage is anonymous and doesn’t identify the location of a phone with a specific person.