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Facebook Places broadcasts your location


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#1 Grinler

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:19 AM

On Wednesday Facebook unveiled a new service called Facebook Places. This service allows you to share your exact location by "checking in" to that place and letting your friends know that you are there.In order to use this feature you will need to install the Facebook application for iPhone or browse to touch.facebook.com using a mobile web browser that supports HTML 5 and geolocation. Facebook Places will then use the GPS data from your phone to display locations around you that you can "check into" so that your friends know that you are there. As of right now, Facebook Places will only show your location to your friends unless you specifically give permission to allow everyone to see it. Once you are checked into a location you can then select the People Here Now feature of Facebook places to find other friends who may be in the same location as yourself.

Facebook states that this feature is designed to help you become more social and to find friends who may at the same location as you. On the darker side, services like this also broadcast that you are not at home, which allows people with a criminal intent more access to your information and location. Therefore, make sure you only allow your friends to see your location and not to set it to Everyone.

Location and check-in services are not new by any means. In 2009 two companies debuted location services of their own. These two companies are Foursquare and Gowalla, with Foursquare becoming the dominant location service. This new service offering by Facebook is definitely ruffling, if not plucking, some feathers at these two companies as competing with a 500 million user gorilla is going to be very hard task.



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#2 troublesh00ter

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 10:38 AM

Hide ya kids and hide yo wife! Facebook is comin out to get ya!
for3ver,
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#3 computerxpds

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 06:02 PM

I like this feature especially when I am on vacation! Also you can use it on an ipod touch using the wifi location service! :thumbsup:
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#4 Galadriel

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 11:13 PM

Yeah really useful, especially to announce to the whole world that there's no one at your house guarding your insane computer setup that you happened to post pics of all over the net....

Nice broadcasting of "ROB ME! NO ONE'S HOME!"
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#5 Casey_boy

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 07:10 AM

Also worries me with child safety concerns.

Some kids are friends on FB with people they don't even know, so they're now publishing their location to these people as well...

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#6 MalwareMutilator

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 07:42 AM

Ahhh . . . poor Gal just doesnít see the whole picture here. :flowers: Yes, itís a way to say Iím not home, but itís also a way to get even with those who have burglarized other homes. Example . . . Iím not home . . . come break into my house and personally meet my 5 killer Pitbulls!!! :thumbsup:

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#7 computerxpds

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 08:38 AM

Well Seeing as I'm am on vacation with my grandparents and my parents are home so that isn't an issue with me right now, but yes I do agree with you all in saying that it is a horrible feature that if not used in a manner with extreme care and consideration then it can be dangerous VERY DANGEROUS.
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#8 Galadriel

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 11:53 AM

I fail to see any benefit whatsoever with broadcasting your exact location at every moment. There just isn't one. But then again, people who give up privacy for the sake of 'nothing to hide' probably deserve to lose the security and safety that goes along with it. Besides the fact that it's a serious breach of privacy and safety, there's the issue of relevance to friends... I mean seriously, who wants to know the details of your every day life? I don't care nor want to know where you had lunch or that you had a Baklava for dessert, or that it didn't agree with your stomach.

There is such a thing as TMI (too much information). Stalker heaven...

When do you think that corporations with brick and mortar stores will start buying the databases that hold those locations in real time so they know when to step out on the sidewalk and start haggling you to buy their super duper snake oil that you can't possibly live without? Or when do you think they'll start sending automatic text/voice messages on your phone as you walk past?

Edited by Galadriel, 20 August 2010 - 11:56 AM.

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#9 Pandy

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 02:21 PM

If my friends/family need to know where I am then they can call me and find out.. why broadcast it to myriads of people who do not care anyway. This information is strictly on a need to know basis.

Edited by Pandy, 20 August 2010 - 02:26 PM.

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#10 Animal

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 04:36 PM

And people were screaming CONSPIRACY!! and that the government was tracking everyone with the anti-counterfeiting strips in US paper currency.

The government can rest easy and let social networking comapnies do the job for them. :thumbsup:

Yes I am half joking, but think about it....

If we are so hell bent on privacy rights why do we just give it away freely, when it's all wrapped up in a pretty container called 'social networking' tools.


Like I said to someone here offline. Just wait (Heavean forbid) till somebody dies, or is seriously injured as a result of a crime that the criminal used the information available from one of these apps to stalk/hunt their victim. Watch the outcry, and countless lawsuits over loss of privacy then. It is a sad commentary on our society that the severe injury or loss of life is the only way to get peoples attention.

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#11 Galadriel

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Posted 20 August 2010 - 05:15 PM

Yep, and the people think Google is bad because it tracks search queries... Can you imagine being the owner of the database that holds all these logins/location stamps? But worst of all is the fact that all those features are enabled by default, accessible to the general public and in the case of Facebook, that anyone on your friends list can 'check you in' to any location they choose - unless YOU opt out.

If we are so hell bent on privacy rights why do we just give it away freely, when it's all wrapped up in a pretty container called 'social networking' tools.


We aren't so hell bent on real privacy... if no one asks us for an SSN, we gladly let them have the color of our underwear if they so desire. To me, that's just backwards... anyone can build very very detailed and accurate profiles with location, shopping habits and pics. Also there's the "it will never happen to me" mentality at play. Well sorry, but bad things happen to good people daily. So just because you feel safe, doesn't mean your information is. The more privacy we give up, the more we let them get away with trampling our basic human rights, the less privacy we deserve.
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#12 NorCalMike

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 02:06 AM

I couldn't agree with Galadriel more. It's funny now that I am older now. Transparency through our government has become much more opaque(in the name of 'national defense') and our own privacy has become MUCH MORE transparent. I am a veteran of both the Navy, and the Army, and even though I don't mean to hurt the feelings of those who always want to thank me for my service, I still made the decision to serve, with the full knowledge of the possible consequences....Even though servicemembers 'risk their livelyhood' for our freedoms, OUR TAXES PAY for that. Just as they pay for police, and fire/safety to 'protect and serve'. I'm afraid we have already surrendered enough of even the 'idea' of our freedoms to ever get it back to where it once was. It would be really pleasant if we stopped waving our flags for a minute, and took some time to reflect....not only on where we've been, where we've come too....but the intangibles, like where we're going. Privacy (in my honest opinion) is intended to allow us our own independance. I know that people are proud, and like to share their accomplishments with others, this allows opportunities to positively re-inforce things well done. I do not see, however, what letting everyone know everything we're doing at all times can benefit anybody other than big brother.

#13 KarstenHansen

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Posted 27 August 2010 - 02:42 PM

I cannot stress how much I agree with Galadriel. This is just dangerous as h... and normal people should really just leave things like that alone! This is not BC making a point, but it is me personally.

Cheers
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Edited by KarstenHansen, 27 August 2010 - 02:43 PM.


#14 Notorious

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 04:19 PM

Not only Facebook.. Firefoxes Location-Aware Browsing does it too.
Check this link http://benwerd.com/lab/geo.php and allow their page to access your location.
You'll find out what data your browser is sending to any application that make request and where to find you.
In my case, I could see right where I live give or take few houses.
Now, I have nothing to hide or worry about, but my computer location and my browsing habits should be kept private.

How do I turn off Location-Aware Browsing permanently?

Location-Aware Browsing is always opt-in in Firefox. No location information is ever sent without your permission. If you wish to disable the feature completely, please follow this set of steps:

* In the URL bar, type about:config
* Type geo.enabled
* Double click on the geo.enabled preference
* Location-Aware Browsing is now disabled


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