Navigation Huge in This Week’s Big Data Review

Apple is getting giddy over navigational data. Rumor had it that the phonemaker is in talks to acquire Waze, a popular GPS service that uses data from its users to optimize its maps and keep them up to date.  The rumor mill has died down since news first cropped up this week, but the idea of an acquisition sparked plenty of discourse around Apple’s growing need for wrangling additional data sources to improve its software.

A deal would have set Apple back by a few hundred million dollars at the very least. According to the insider that leaked the scoop, the mobile giant already made a $400 million bid, but Waze was sticking with the $750 million price tag it set in the beginning of the negotiations.  Though this deal seems to have hit a major roadblock, one thing is certain: Apple needs fresh IP to rejuvenate Maps, and fast.

A day before we first reported the rumor, Google announced licensing agreements with Kia Motors and Hyundai.  The two join an existing list of major carmakers that either plan to integrate or already have incorporated the search giant’s mapping technology into their built-in navigational gadgets.

Google had a lot of good news this week. Besides the two automobile deals, the FTC dropped allegations of anti-competitive behavior against the company after the latter agreed to be more flexible with its search listings and promised to offer marketers more transparency into their ad campaigns.

In the far more exciting world of Cybersecurity, data is used as a counter-measure against hackers. Vendors have devised a tactic of storing bogus passwords and e-mail addresses in an attempt to not only thwart attacks, but also collect data about the hackers in the background. This use of fake data has attracted both positive and negative attentions from security pros, the blogosphere and even a U.S senator.