back to article Nokia wants to build the Google of human behaviour - and share it

Nokia has a radical strategy to outflank some of the world’s biggest technology companies, including Google, and it shared some of the details with El Reg in Barcelona this week. According to Michael Halbherr, a key member of Nokia’s top executive team and arguably number two to CEO Stephen Elop, location-based human behaviour …


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  1. hplasm

    This sounds familiar-

    Wasn't this predicted to be happening... ooh about now?

    All the 'tell us who your friends are and what you are doing and we'll tell you where your tribe is meeting' things that have been pushed forward up to now just don't catch on- nobody wants tracking to that extent- and nor will this.

  2. Atrophic Cerebrum

    Has the plan changed now to push Nokia as the gatekeeper of spyware? What with Google et all not trusted enough to be used. Is this the new jobs/zuckerberg/gates?

  3. Tim99 Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Hari Seldon

    Is this sort of stuff the start of psychohistory?

  4. Ragequit

    Are we sheep?

    Or perhaps they think we're more akin to insects that leave chemical traces behind for our brethren to follow? Before even considering the privacy issue here why the hell would I want to be routed to the same pub as every other tom, dick, or harry that happened to be in the same time and relative place as me? Why do we need more data to mine? How about less? Why not introduce search engines for specific communities? A subset of data that wouldn't bring up search results from halfway around the world? I suppose that is already the case with map searches but my point is to keep things simple, elegant, and meaningful.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Are we sheep?

      You might think you're pretty smart and nothing like a sheep/insect. But it's been well-known for decades that en masse, people act in ways that can be studied.

      Do you really think it's going to be as simple as "oh you're near this bar, lets send you there like everyone else"? Such a system would in theory automatically avoid these kid of issues although it sounds an absolute nightmare to create.

      1. Ragequit

        Re: Are we sheep?

        That's certainly true and is in part the realm of sociology. Humans are social creatures and whenever they interact they influence each other in various ways. What is sad is that there are so many people that let their guard down towards technology despite generally being guarded towards strangers. We're all guilty of it to some degree as we have become reliant on search engines. By trusting search engines to give us relevant and unbiased results we are implicitly trusting it's designers. The technology insulates us.

        For example I'd bet most people would trust the results of a google search on a strangers phone more readily than verbal directions from the same person.

        It's the automatic part that concerns me. Are people really going to start letting technology make their decisions for them because they trust it to be agnostic? Even supposing that such a technology would fairly distribute searchers between establishments it would have to weight it's relevancy in some fashion. It just seems like a slippery slope to me.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So Nokia come out with a good product that can be monetised off its strengths and help them sell own brand hardware then they have to go and resort to the age old data gathering and, I'm guessing, advertising.

    It's as if tech companies don't even try any more. They all seem to go straight to the "great product, right, how can we use it to gather statistical data on people and sell it on?".

  6. Don Jefe

    No Worries

    I can already hear the howls of the privacy crowd, but I've got no problem with some company tracking me. If they're that interested in what I'm doing they can have a peek.

    Even the dimmest bulb knows by now that illegal activities have to take place in a phone free environment and any financial transactions for said activities require cash. Obscuring ones activities has been around a lot longer than any if the things privacy people are scared of.

    1. Andy Fletcher

      Re: No Worries

      Privacy? I honestly don't think we have much of it anyway.

      I'm with you, I can't think of anything I do that's really that interesting, but if someone wants to know they can. I'm glad I don't have to live with paranoia, it must be be the pits.

      1. DragonLord

        Re: No Worries

        I think that we need the people that are paranoid about privacy, because without them we wouldn't have the protections that we do against our personal details being abused against us.

  7. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Nokia obviously dont' want to make desirable phones anymore

      Amazing logic, Eadon, never thought of that. Thanks. Must be stupid.

  8. plrndl

    It doesn't matter how smart your data is if it is used by idiots.

    My experience of targeted advertising is that it's constantly showing me things I have already bought, or have decided not to buy. If it were to show me thing that are similar to what I've just googled, It might actually achieve its purpose.

    Most advertisers are still stuck in 1950 when TV advertising was new, and think that bashing you into submission is the only way to get you to buy.

  9. Scott Wheeler

    > “Where do people go at 10pm after a movie? It’s about building up these kinds of connections.”

    Nope. And to be clear, this is not just about what they do with the data, or which third parties have access to it.

  10. gurmit

    it makes you want to go back to dumb phones again that just make calls and text messages. we dont want to be tracked / analysed/ spammed.

  11. kues

    No 400m revenue last quarter and not growing rapidly

    >The mapping business at Nokia is doing very well today – bringing in €400m in the last quarter – making it a significant company in its own right, and growingly rapidly.<

    The numbers are simply not true, just check Nokia's financial reports!

    Net sales were 278m in Q4/12 compared to 304m Q4/11. Full year 2012 net sales were 1103m compared to 1091m in 2011. Nokia's Location&Commerce/HERE is no way growing rapidly. Nokia even gave a profit warning for Q1/13 on the L&C/HERE division.

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