The ability of mobile devices to collect location data from the wireless networks they're connected to is crucial to the success of mobile products from both Apple and Google, writes David Murphy. Google needs to be able to track the location of wireless signals to offer a variety of location-aware services. "Because GPS and cell tower data can be unreliable or inaccurate, in some cases using the location of Wi-Fi access points can enable a smartphone to pinpoint its own location more quickly and accurately," Google wrote in a letter to U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

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