The San Jose Mercury News landed some leaked emails from Google CEO Larry Page, as well as other top Google executives, which show how important gathering location data is for its mobile plans.
Last year, Motorola, one of Google’s biggest mobile partners, was planning on using Skyhook Wireless’s location data for its handsets over Google’s location data.
The Mercury News says that when Page read about Motorola’s decision to use a “competitor’s” location service — we’re guessing it was Skyhook — he pasted the article in an email to top executives at Google and asked, “Can I get a response on this?”
The Mercury News says “a detailed memo” was quickly sent back to Page, with Android boss Andy Rubin writing, location data from mobile phones was “extremely valuable to Google,” because it was having trouble getting the data via its Street View cars.
Google’s Street View cars were busted for gathering data from unsecured wifi networks. That blow up made it more challenging for Google to build a location database driving around and collecting data from wifi networks.
To build its location network, it would have to rely more heavily on Android phones. But if its partners weren’t going to use Google’s location technology, that would be much more difficult.
Google location product manager Steve Lee wrote to Larry Page, “I cannot stress enough how important Google’s wifi location database is to our Android and mobile product strategy … We absolutely do care about this (decision by Motorola) because we need wifi data collection in order to maintain and improve our wifi location service.”
Skyhook is currently suing Google saying it unfairly blocked Motorola from using Skyhook’s services.