Polaris Wireless Omnilocate Platform Offers Carrier-Grade Privacy Safeguards

Jun 14, 2011

Source: GPS World

Polaris Wireless Omnilocate Platform Offers Carrier-Grade Privacy Safeguards

Polaris Wireless today announced that its network-based Omnilocate location platform will protect users' location information. The platform can provide location capabilities across all air interfaces:  2G, 3G, and 4G services as well as indoor Wi-Fi, DAS, and Femtocells, while offering carrier-grade reliability and privacy safeguards hidden behind mobile operator's wireless network, the company said.

The company stated that "It has always been the policy of Polaris Wireless to protect user location information behind the security of the mobile operator's wireless network. The OmniLocate solution does not now, and has never, enabled location information to be retained within the mobile device, where it is subject to hacking and other potential compromise."

This statement addresses recent industry speculation following the revelation that Apple and Google have tracked user location information, and those companies' subsequent appearance (alongside Facebook) last month at a hearing of the Senate Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Insurance Subcommittee focusing on "industry practices with respect to online mobile data collection and usage." Media and consumer advocacy groups have expressed concerns that the practice of storing mobile subscriber location information within a file residing on the device jeopardizes subscriber privacy and exposes this information to hacking.

"Because OmniLocate is network-based and does not rely on any device-generated location method, all sensitive subscriber location information resides in the wireless operator network, where it is protected by carrier-grade security using standards-based technology," said Jan Johansson, Polaris Wireless director of product management. "Polaris Wireless has worked diligently to gain the trust of our customers in the telecommunications industry and in government, and boasts a 100 percent security record for subscriber mobile location information we produce."

OmniLocate incorporates patented Polaris Wireless Location Signatures (Polaris WLSTM) technology,which determines device location by comparing radio measurements reported by the wireless device against those in a comprehensive radio environment database. The result is the most accurate, most reliable location performance of its type, the company said. Polaris WLS can be deployed in conjunction with other location methods, such as A-GPS, Enhanced Cell-ID, and Cell-ID, in both hybrid and fallback scenarios, and thus is able to locate any device in any environment, even in urban areas and indoors, the company said.