Beware of the (New) Gatekeepers

Someone asked what I meant by this. This post embellishes the thinking a bit more. I see three new mobile location data gatekeepers emerging; Social Location Aggregators, Network Location Aggregators, and others with their own hardware/software/services/content stack

Social Location Aggregators

Facebook and Twitter. These players are leveraging dozens of smartphone publishing-contributors that push location data up to their larger platforms where it's made Web-available to other developers and applications. A healthy ecosystem of client-publisher-contributors and developer-consumers, Twitter and Facebook have middleman control over access. Beware... they have the keys and can lock the back or front doors at anytime. 

Network Location Aggregators

Alcatel-Lucent, LOC-AID, Neustar, Technocom, ULocate, Useful-Networks, Wavemarket.  ...Call these players the new gatekeepers of yesterdays wireless carrier gatekeepers. Using the wireless network to pull down mobile location data (by phone number), they then run their own privacy protection authorization and authentication management on web services exposed to developers. Years ago, similar aggregation approaches released SMS from individual network stovepipes, subsequently fueling explosive growth for messaging. Network-location aggregators hope the same happens for cross-carrier location data; it helps that all the Tier I's are finally aboard, but beware... they have the keys and can lock the door at anytime. 

Others who have their own hardware/software/services/content stack

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia. They each have their own location-ready devices, positioning databases, mobile OSs, applications, services, and content (including the geo variety). Its their party; we're all just guests. Threatening their core focus could get one expelled (or acquired). Beware... they too have the keys and can lock the door at anytime.