The "Mozilla Location Service" project is a pilot project to assess the impact Mozilla can have on the geolocation landscape, specifically to improve user privacy and enable innovation by creating public data sets. In order to do this assessment, we need to understand the technological challenges
and get real data. Therefore, the Services team will build and operate a location service to provide geolocation lookup for devices, based on cell tower , Wi-Fi or IP address information.
Geolocation lookup is a very useful service to provide to users
. There's no public data set to provide this service. None of the current companies offering this type of service have any incentive to improve on privacy. Geolocation lookup and the potential for tracking the physical movement of individuals is a serious privacy issue.
Why Mozilla? The web platform needs the capability, and currently we have to provide it in our offerings through business deals without much impact on the privacy aspects of the service. We have a unique access to Firefox on lots of devices for gathering and reporting back data. We don't have to monetize the gathered data and can
make it available to the public. If we can run a successful service, we get leverage to improve the privacy aspects in the landscape.
For more information about user privacy, see [https://wiki.mozilla.org/CloudServices/Location/Privacy "Privacy"]. We are also maintaining an [https://wiki.mozilla.org/CloudServices/Location/Bootstrap "overview of existing data sources"].