Google and Apple are gathering location information as part of their race to build massive databases capable of pinpointing people's locations via their cellphones. These databases could help them tap the $2.9 billion market for location-based services, expected to rise to $8.3 billion in 2014, according to research firm Gartner.
The issue is that some applications and features people might like do require location information. So there always will be a tension between a user desire for privacy and a user desire for sharing some information to obtain benefits.
Looking up the closest supplier of something a user wants, such as a local Starbucks, a Thai restaurant or a grocery store, require location knowledge. Social networking features that allow a user to find friends are another example.