Google maps and your location...
Your article said: "while Google might be collecting GPS and Cell ID information, they have no way of linking that to a particular person or phone handset, so (for the moment at least) there's no significant privacy issue."
Actually thats not quite true. Though a loophole in the "Payforit" scheme in the UK, operators are providing the phone number of users that browse mobile web sites to unscrupulous businesses.
Therefore, there are two tricks to link phone number to location:
(1) Google records the phone number of a user when they download the application and supplies a different variant of each app to each user. Voila, when teh app starts up, and connects to the network, the two are linked.
(2) The app visits a mobile web page while its running, supplying the location of the user (actually thats exactly what happens when it downbloads a section of map!) and Google uses the Payforit MSISDN relay to capture teh user's phoen number.
As of today (with MSISDN still being supplied through the Payforit loophole) Google - or anybody who can get a Symbian app on your phone - can easily map a user to a phone number - so for example you could be called or texted when you are within a certain CELLID.