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Facebook adding new Places feature to iPhone app

post #1 of 23
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Facebook unveiled a location-based services feature called Places for its iPhone app at a media event late Wednesday.

At the event, covered by The Associated Press, Facebook showed off their latest feature, which allows users to "check-in" with their location. Upon checking in, users will be able to see who else is at their location and tag friends who are there with them. Using Places, businesses will eventually be able to claim their own locations and offer discounts or promotions to users.

The feature will be available through a free update of the Facebook iPhone app and at touch.facebook.com, Facebook's website for touchscreen mobile devices. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company plans to develop the feature for other smartphone apps later on.

Rather than competing directly with rival websites offering location services, Facebook is partnering with them, including several key startups, such as Gowalla, Foursquare, and Yelp. Badges and check-ins will carry over to and from these sites and Facebook.

Facebook, which has faced strong criticism in the past over user privacy issues, is taking a cautious approach with its launch of Places. According to Jules Polonetsky, co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum, Places "seems to logically reflect what users expect." Users will be prompted by the app to share their location, which will be available to friends by default.

Concerns have also been raised in the past about Apple's use of location services. In June, two US Congressmen demanded answers from Apple about a new "Location-Based Services" section of the company's iOS privacy policy. Apple quickly responded, explaining its policies. In its reply, Apple noted that, beginning with iPhone OS version 3.2, it had begun using its own databases for location-based services.
post #2 of 23
where is the future leading to? first older generations complaining how youngsters don't like talking on the phone, and they'd rather do it on a computer via e-mail. now, we have devices with instant chat, text, voice, photos, videos, internet, video calling, etc. on top of all of that, we have location services. how common will this be in 5-10 years, are we going to always know where someone is at any given moment? i think so. scary, a little. facebook status updates are a joke in the first place. i don't need to know when someone just woke up, or is going to sleep, or if someone is tired, or whatever. useless info, yes. invasion of privacy or lack of privacy, yes. most people don't even know, they just post or update status with location info. what if a shady neighbor or thief gets a hold of this info, "on vacation for 1 month"! let's just be smart about all of this if it is the future.
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by macapptraining View Post

... most people don't even know, they just post or update status with location info. what if a shady neighbor or thief gets a hold of this info, "on vacation for 1 month"! let's just be smart about all of this if it is the future.

Working in law enforcement, I definitely agree with this sentiment. I urge people to not post their daily routines, work hours, location of work or home, and to stay away from location services (like the stuff that says "Checked In @...". Make sure settings are as private as you can get, and always always remember: Once info is on the net, its very hard to take it off.
Just be smart about what you say and do, use common sense, and always do your best to instruct your children about the dangers and advantages to the internet and social networks. Don't be scared, but don't be haphazard either.
(Plus, do you really want us officers and our black helicopters to know your every move that much easier? )
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post #4 of 23
Google is nowhere in social media. This move tonight is the nail in the coffin.
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post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by macapptraining View Post

where is the future leading to? first older generations complaining how youngsters don't like talking on the phone, and they'd rather do it on a computer via e-mail. now, we have devices with instant chat, text, voice, photos, videos, internet, video calling, etc. on top of all of that, we have location services. how common will this be in 5-10 years, are we going to always know where someone is at any given moment? i think so. scary, a little. facebook status updates are a joke in the first place. i don't need to know when someone just woke up, or is going to sleep, or if someone is tired, or whatever. useless info, yes. invasion of privacy or lack of privacy, yes. most people don't even know, they just post or update status with location info. what if a shady neighbor or thief gets a hold of this info, "on vacation for 1 month"! let's just be smart about all of this if it is the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

Working in law enforcement, I definitely agree with this sentiment. I urge people to not post their daily routines, work hours, location of work or home, and to stay away from location services (like the stuff that says "Checked In @...". Make sure settings are as private as you can get, and always always remember: Once info is on the net, its very hard to take it off.
Just be smart about what you say and do, use common sense, and always do your best to instruct your children about the dangers and advantages to the internet and social networks. Don't be scared, but don't be haphazard either.
(Plus, do you really want us officers and our black helicopters to know your every move that much easier? )

To each their own I guess.

I think you are both over-reacting in strange and scary ways. The top one sounds like a breathless rant from Grampa on the Simpsons and is likewise, almost unintelligible. The bottom one is insane paranoid fear-mongering, with a touch of creepy.

People can probably share their location information with friends without the world coming to a fiery end.
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

The bottom one is insane paranoid fear-mongering, with a touch of creepy.

People can probably share their location information with friends without the world coming to a fiery end.

When you work with the kinds of crime that I do, it gets to you a bit. No, sharing your location will not bring fire and brimstone to the world, and the likely hood of something bad happening to you as a direct relation to your sharing of that info is statistically small. All I am saying, is just be smart about what you share. Criminals can be pretty smart when they want to be. I've already had a few Facebook related crimes that I have worked on where someone's posting that they will be out of town has caused a robbery of their home.
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post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by joe in miami View Post

Google is nowhere in social media. This move tonight is the nail in the coffin.

Yes. But Google wont be GOOGLE if it wont try it in future. BTW, remember Orkut?
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post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by striker_kk View Post

Yes. But Google wont be GOOGLE if it wont try it in future. BTW, remember Orkut?

I do remember Orkut and still have an account there. It was 10 times bigger than Facebook about 5 years ago. Now it still has a large subscriber base but it's presence is mostly limited to a few countries which massively adopted it before Facebook started taking itself seriously and localized to other languages. Orkut was acquired by Google when it was still ruling, but they did nothing to improve it or innovate, and now it's just plain bad. They couldn't do better with Orkut, they failed with Buzz, and are taking hits on mobile advertising and location services, due to trying to screw their partners...

Google is Doomed!®
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

Working in law enforcement, I definitely agree with this sentiment. I urge people to not post their daily routines, work hours, location of work or home, and to stay away from location services (like the stuff that says "Checked In @...".

well spoken. spot on
post #10 of 23
Another good reason why I will not return to Facebook any time soon!
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post #11 of 23
is Apple studying Google Latitude like they are with Google Voice?
post #12 of 23
The new Places feature doesn't work yet in Canada... at least, not in my area. Well, it's a new service, I thought, so it'll take time to get past the U.S. boundaries. Now, I'm reading that they are partnering with Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp, etc. so I hope it doesn't take too long to materialize here.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by macapptraining View Post

where is the future leading to?

http://pleaserobme.com/
post #14 of 23
Next we can borrow from the TV show Whose Line is it Anyway?

The game is

Stand, sit, lie (down)/bend
At all times in a scene, one contestant must be standing, one sitting, one lying down/bending

If we all post which we are currently doing - in combination with our location - then everyone else can try to work if we are working, eating, sleeping, etc. and with whom we are doing it.

then again you could end up with a situation like this: http://www.thundertreats.com/article...-facebook.html
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by hzc View Post

The new Places feature doesn't work yet in Canada... at least, not in my area. Well, it's a new service, I thought, so it'll take time to get past the U.S. boundaries. Now, I'm reading that they are partnering with Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp, etc. so I hope it doesn't take too long to materialize here.

I live in the US, Sarasota, FL and it doesn't work here either... such a great new feature, install it, well you have to wait for using it! LOL
post #16 of 23
And it should be added that the two congressmen stated that Apple's explanation more than satisfied them and allayed their concerns.
post #17 of 23
Could Facebook please improve basic features in the app before adding extras like this. Where is the ability to delete posts and where is the "pokes"?? What about the adding links to walls?? There is plenty missing...
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

When you work with the kinds of crime that I do, it gets to you a bit. No, sharing your location will not bring fire and brimstone to the world, and the likely hood of something bad happening to you as a direct relation to your sharing of that info is statistically small. All I am saying, is just be smart about what you share. Criminals can be pretty smart when they want to be. I've already had a few Facebook related crimes that I have worked on where someone's posting that they will be out of town has caused a robbery of their home.

I realise what I said previously was a little mean, but this still sounds insane to me. I don't know where you live that criminals would be amongst your friends.

I live in a very high crime area on the bad side of town and I think this is just ridiculous. As long as you are not one of those idiots that have 1,000 "friends" that are not really your friends, or incredibly stupid, there is literally no risk at all.
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I realise what I said previously was a little mean, but this still sounds insane to me. I don't know where you live that criminals would be amongst your friends.

I live in a very high crime area on the bad side of town and I think this is just ridiculous. As long as you are not one of those idiots that have 1,000 "friends" that are not really your friends, or incredibly stupid, there is literally no risk at all.

My post is not aimed at people like you, who are most likely savvy on what to post, who their "friends" are, etc... However, there are those that may frequent this site that have not thought of the repercussions of saying things online as to their real world activities and locations that can leave them exposed. I work in law enforcement. I have worked with victims of crimes because of their lack foresight when it comes to posting personal data online. And even some of those instances, they claimed they knew all their online "friends" and vouched they were good people who wouldn't commit a robbery. All I was trying to do was to enlighten people to the issue, and ways to protect themselves. I personally don't think its insane.
All my online "friends" are people I actually know. Even then, I don't post my where-a-bouts or other daily activities. As I said, even if you post identifying information and your current location, the likelihood of a crime being committed based on that info is small. But its still a possibility.

(I'm trying to figure out why I was called insane for trying to inform people of the potential risk with sharing location information.)
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post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

I'm trying to figure out why I was called insane for trying to inform people of the potential risk with sharing location information.

The opposite, really... you're one of the few clear thinking individuals. I've been concerned by this whole Location-based leash that Apple collars on all their iOS 4 users... even when you try to OPT OUT, you can't really OPT OUT. That's just damned spooky in itself.

And now this announcement... who could not have seen this coming? Duh. There will be many, many more Location "services" (i.e., spying) to come as well, you can get even money on that.

We all know how wonderful it is when we give huge multinational corporations the wherewithal and allowances over our personal freedoms. That's always worked out well for us, hasn't it?

It just gets creepier and creepier...
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post #21 of 23
And lo-and-behold, Facebook has all those new "location" features turned ON by default!

Facebook is becoming Big Brother.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by camroidv27 View Post

(I'm trying to figure out why I was called insane for trying to inform people of the potential risk with sharing location information.)

No camroid, as matt_s said, you're totally sane and probably one of the few people here with direct real-world experience in the matter.

I don't hang around with shady folks at all, and in fact I'd be accused of the total opposite (!), but I've heard via "friends of friends" about some of the specifics of the bad side of this stuff. Knowing your regular schedule is enough to put you into a higher risk category, but passing out your whereabouts in real-time is insane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_s View Post

The opposite, really... you're one of the few clear thinking individuals. I've been concerned by this whole Location-based leash that Apple collars on all their iOS 4 users... even when you try to OPT OUT, you can't really OPT OUT. That's just damned spooky in itself.

Yes indeed. That's enough for me that I won't own a iPhone4 device until/unless there's a way to completely disable that problem (I will not call it a "feature").

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

... this still sounds insane to me. ... I live in a very high crime area on the bad side of town and I think this is just ridiculous.

Dude, then you are living in a bubble and have no clue of what "the other side" looks like. This kind of info is hugely valuable to the many shady characters that we all live among.

Maybe you don't care about safety and getting robbed (might make sense, given where you've chosen to live?), maybe you don't have enough material possessions to care, maybe you don't have family and kids to worry about. A lot of us have all of the above, and it's just fucking pointless to be posting your real-time location out on the net. Period. It's not that you have a statistically high likelihood of instantly getting taken advantage of, but you're seriously on the wrong side of a weighted risk/reward ratio.

This may or may not apply to you, personally, but to the general case "you", who do have hundreds of "friends", including many that they really don't know all that well. If you have 10-20 really tight real-world friends that comprise the entire set of FB friends, then you're probably not too bad.

But guys like camroidv27 have real world experience that you're not only ignoring, but attempting to disparage. That's not smart.

I'm curious, exactly how many FB friends do you have right now? Serious question.
Do you trust all of their friends? Both online FoF as well as in real world?
Do you trust that none of their accounts will ever get hacked? Or accidentally left logged in somewhere?
Do you trust that Facebook won't change their policies? So far their track record on this is abysmal. See: http://mattmckeon.com/facebook-privacy/
(you may be intelligent enough to follow policy changes closely and change your behavior accordingly, but millions don't and won't)

Last, very important point ->
Remember, you're not just publishing your whereabouts and data to your friends, you're giving that information to The Facebook Corporation. And if you think they're your friends, well, I think it's obvious they're not. Their motivations revolve around trying to push everyone to publish as much information about themselves as possible because it's valuable to THEM, not to you. If there's one thing people should remember, it's that.

.
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post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

And lo-and-behold, Facebook has all those new "location" features turned ON by default!

Facebook is becoming Big Brother.

And they'll let your friends be Big Brother with them. The option to let your friends check you into places is enabled by default too.
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