News Scan: Virgin Atlantic takes Glass for a test flight; FTC mulls privacy of retailer tracking; more


>> Virgin Atlantic tries out Google Glass for passenger check-in

Virgin Atlantic is trying out Google Glass and Sony's SmartWatch 2 to check in upper class passengers, reports Gizmodo. The airline is running a six-week test to see if reservation staff and passengers find it helpful. It seems the benefits are mostly in the immediacy of the information and the "cool" factor, because the passenger information provided to the wearable devices is the same as that provided to the computer terminal. Read more on Virgin Atlantic's Google Glass trial.

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>> FTC to examine privacy issues around retailers tracking smartphone shoppers

The Federal Trade Commission is holding a workshop next week on the privacy implications of retailers and other businesses tracking smartphone-toting consumers. Retailers use tracking technology to gather information about the path a consumer takes around the store, the length of time in one location, whether the consumer is a new or returning customer and how frequently the consumer visits the store. "In most cases, this tracking is invisible to consumers and occurs with no consumer interaction. As a result, the use of these technologies raises a number of potential privacy concerns and questions," explains the FTC. Read more about the FTC workshop.

[More on location tracking: Indoor location on steroids | GAO says FTC should develop guidelines for mobile location data handling]

>> Sprint has second thoughts about T-Mobile merger

Sprint is having second thoughts about trying to merge with T-Mobile after receiving negative feedback from U.S. antitrust officials, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. Sprint officials met over the last few weeks with officials from the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission and were surprised at the level of opposition, the report notes. Sprint wants to expand its footprint in the U.S. market in order to compete more effectively with Verizon and AT&T, but acquiring T-Mobile may no longer be an option. Read more on the Journal's Sprint-T-Mobile merger report.

[More on the Sprint-T-Mobile merger: Sprint one step closer to buying T-Mobile | Report: Sprint is considering a bid for T-Mobile]

>> New York's Finest eye Google Glass

The New York Police Department is considering using Google Glass to aid police officers in their work around the city. Stephen Davis, a deputy commissioner for the NYPD, explains in an email to eWeek that the NYPD obtained two pairs of Google Glass last December and has been evaluating them "in an attempt to determine any possible useful applications. The devices have not been deployed in any actual field or patrol operations, but rather are being assessed as to how they may be appropriately utilized or incorporated into any existing technology-based functions." Read more on the NYPD and Google Glass.

[More on Google Glass: Enterprises will be initial targets of smartglass vendors, predicts ABI | Hyundai integrates Google Glass]

>> Google launches admin app for iOS devices

Google, the developer of the Android operating system, has decided to let iOS users in on the admin party. This week, Google launched the Google Admin app for iOS, which enables administrators to add or suspend users, reset passwords, manage group memberships, see audit logs and contact support from an iOS device. The app requires application programming interface access to be enabled, Aman Rathi, product manager for Google Apps, explains in a blog. This follows the launch of Google Admin app for Android users last year. Read more on Google Admin app for iOS.

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