GPS on a mobile - a major boon or a privacy invasion?

I've been looking at some of the new generations of mobiles coming down the pipe on both sides of the Atlantic and have to say that Im quite impressed.

It seems that GPS - satnav location to you and me - is coming soon on a new generation of mid-priced GSM handsets and the facilities they will offer for non-voice services has to be seen to be understood.

Whereas GPS has largely been confined to in-vehicle use to date, the new generation of mobiles are designed for pedestrian usage of the GPS location features.

You can see what the potential for these new handsets is by looking at the Qualcomm Web site in the US here.

All well and good, but what about the privacy issues? How long with the cellular networks agree to keep your location private? How long before they sell anonymised data to advertisers?

Not that long. The prospect of an advertiser knowing where my mobile is and tailoring their adverts accordingly is a frightening one.

Qualcomm's Wireless Life technology has serious potential on the privacy issues front. The big question, of course, is how long it will be our government - and its agencies - start realising the potential of these Orwellian services...