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Google brings location awareness to e-mail

Google is bringing location-based awareness to its Gmail web e-mail service.

Google has already announced the Latitude service, which shares your location...

Google is bringing location-based awareness to its Gmail web e-mail service.

Google has already announced the Latitude service, which shares your location with friends on Google Maps. This technology has already caused privacy concerns.

Now, Google has developed location-aware e-mail signatures for Gmail. The technology could potentially be useful to managers who want to know the location of their staff, for instance.

After turning on the "Location in Signature" feature in Gmail Labs - the beta website for Gmail - subsequent e-mails sent will reveal the geographic location where the message was sent from, such as "Sent from: San Francisco, California".

Gmail determines the sender's location by looking up the geographical data associated with the public IP address used.

As the sole use of IP addresses to determine a location is not always reliable, Google says its Google Gears browser extension software can be used over Wi-Fi links to improve the accuracy.

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