Facebook Places – A New Tool and Another Layer of Privacy Stripped Away.
Many of you may have heard about the new Facebook “Places” feature. If you know what Foursquare is, you have a good start on understanding Facebook Places. Essentially, this new feature allows you to tell Facebook where you are in the world via GPS and share that information with your network.
Please note, this function is Turned ON by default.
- Like Foursquare and other Location-based services, it provides businesses with a way to attract and reward loyal customers.
- It can be used to find or meet up with people that you might otherwise miss
- It adds a layer of functionality that can be built on for some new, exciting technologies.
- Turned on by default
- You may not want your friends to know where you are
- Once your location has been published to your network, you lose control over who sees that, they can republish to their network or, in a worst case scenario, their account may be accessed by someone with bad intentions – that person now has access to your location
- If you don’t turn it off, friends can tell facebook that you are at their location, whether you are or not.
It has been speculated that these types of location-based tools can be used to find targets for thieves – but I don’t necessarily buy that. This technology has a LOT of potential for good, but it also by default removes a level of privacy that we take for granted.
If you want to disable this as a whole, go to facebook, click options, go to privacy settings and you can choose who can and cannot see your location, whether friends can check you into places (A while ago, one of my friends wrote my phone number in a public place as a prank – it wound up being a huge headache for me. Would one of your friends check you into a place that may be harmful to your reputation as a prank? Are you sure?) and other privacy settings. For a detailed walk-through, see this website.
There is a strong argument for the benefits that services like this could provide. Check out this video which describes some really cool augmented reality technology that this is a necessarily base to.
Again, this feature is by default set to “on”, so if you do not want to be part of this service, you should go in and change your settings. I cant help feeling like Facebook is tearing down walls and putting in windows, and soon we will all be living in glass houses.
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Geoff Boyd – PrimeLending – Clackamas, OR