In a move that is likely to be seen as an attack on yet another industry, Google on Wednesday said it would release a free navigation system for mobile phones that offers turn-by-turn directions.
Analysts said that Google’s free service, if successful, could erode the sales of GPS navigation devices made by companies like Garmin and TomTom and of navigation services offered by cellphone carriers.
“There’s no doubt that those guys are going to be disrupted,” said Greg Sterling, an analyst with Opus Research.
More surprising is that Google is acknowledging from the get-go that it wants to load up this application with ads before long. Driving from Mountain View to San Ramon? You might see an ad for your favorite fast food restaurant which has a franchise along the way. Meanwhile, your trip across the Bay Area gets recorded by Google's computers. Your precise location will be tracked by Google if you use their software.
The only way to protect your privacy and prevent Google from recording your movements is to avoid using Google software. That means saying NO to Android, NO to Google Maps, and NO to this latest piece of GPS spyware from Google.