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Google's newest patent will prove to be both beneficial and terrifying to users, which is just about par for the course for the search engine juggernaut. It involves tracking you wherever you go and then collating and analyzing that data for personal identification trends. Creepy? For sure. Useful for Business SEO and social media? You betcha.
The patent, granted last week, is primarily about identifying people who would use your credentials t0 impersonate you on the web. The logic goes that if Google sees you logging in from work in Boston at 9 am, that's habitual and likely right. If they then see you giving a rave review to local businesses in England, someone has taken your information and that review will be disregarded as spam. Here is the patent in abstract:
A computer-implemented method and system of building a user reputation database for use in a user location data system. The method and system receive user location information containing personally identifiable data of a user and user position data. The user position data may or may not represent one or more actual geographic positions of the user.
The user location information is temporarily stored and analyzed to provide a spam score associated with the user position data indicative of whether the user position data represents the actual geographic positions of the user. Data indicative of the spam score is also provided to user reputation database to store a user reputation score associated with the user.
This patent is still new, but Google has been using similar data to track things like local search SEO and social review sites for awhile now. With this patent, they're only going to get better at it. It's good for businesses, bad for spammers, and I'd say just a little concerning for anyone who truly values their privacy.