Location Plotting with Facebook
The FCC in the USA mandated about five years ago that all phones sold in the USA had to have embedded gps positioning. This was so if you called 911, the authorities, would (and it may take some time) be able to find you on your mobile phone, in the same way if you were making the call from a land line.
As the USA is such as large market for phones, the bulk of handsets immediately started having gps integrated whether they were being sold in the USA or not.
Then, smart phones came on the scene and entrepreneurial app developers realised there was money to be made from creating services that utilised the gps positioning capability of the phone for other applications. Services that could help find your lost phone, ensued, and today gps locating has now been added to the world’s largest social media service.
What it means:
- You can now share your current and previous location with people
- You can lock this down from all people to a list of friends, to just one person on your friendlist
- Your location is pinpointed on a map, the opted in people who can see your location have their location plotted on the same map
So you can look at a map and see where all your friends are currently located. Say that you saw a whole lot of dots in one area of the map and you were not there, chances are there is a gathering and you are not invited! I see a whole new range of friendship arguments coming through from this one.
- Again the question is asked about privacy, and again, this service will make it possible for people to see where you are.
- So if someone wants to find you, and you have allowed that person to be location shared, you are easier to find than ever before.
- I agree that if you don’t want people you do not know, to know your location, then don’t share it. But what if someone steals the phone of a friend which has your location shared? How many of us password protect our phones to keep the information inside secure?
Personally, this is something I will not use. I see it as bad news for people should the information created fall into the wrong hands. Already there are measures in place that can track you, from automatic toll paying devices (like etags), your mobile phone (seen by the phone company only), closed circuit tv with facial recognition and others. Why add another one to the mix?
About Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown is one of Australia's foremost commentators on consumer lifestyle technology. He publishes, produces and hosts CyberShack, is Channel 9's technology expert, and hosts Life & Technology and 2GB and NewsTalk 4BC.
Charlie is able to communicate, educate and inspire a huge audience, without confusing technological jargon.
Life & Technology is on the air Sunday mornings at 10am on 2GB and NewsTalk 4BC.