Originally Posted by Ireland
Another point about privacy. I care about my privacy, but I don't care what company has my location. What I don't want companies like Google, Facebook and Zynga to have is either my e-mail address or my preferences for things, i.e. my browsing history. But especially my e-mail address. I'd frankly rather they knew my blood type over my e-mail address. And as I said I couldn't give two shits if they knew my current location. When it comes to privacy I think people obsess over location too much.
Originally Posted by Bregalad
There's a huge difference between having your current location and knowing where you've been every minute of every day since you activated the phone. Do you really want someone following you everywhere you go, recording how long you stay, where you go afterward, what routes you take?
Browser history, likes, dislikes, yeah those are super valuable to marketing people. Unfortunately for the advertisers of the world I see well targeted advertising as a form of digital stalking and refuse to purchase goods or services from anyone who seems to know too much about me.
I'm really interested in why you think it's dangerous for companies to know your email address. Maybe I'm being naïve, but I just don't see a big privacy or security issue there.
Ireland is right to worry about use of email address, but consumers have a bit more power with that side than location. On the downside, if you use one email address, or just a couple, then it's possible for many, many companies to use that in an invasive way, tracking much of what you do/see/visit online. It can also tie your online and offline worlds together when you give an email address to retailers, and large surveillance companies like facebook and google love to tie that stuff all together, let alone evil companies like rapleaf and bluekai.
On the less-bad side, you can mitigate a lot of this by just creating throwaway email accounts regularly, and never (ever) give your "main" email address to any commercial entity. Also, it's worth considering that even if you create throwaway email accounts, if you create them with the same service provider (yahoo, hotmail, etc.), and from the same IP address, you are still giving profilers a lot of "likely" information. Much of the data these companies gather isn't 100% or 0% reliable, it's somewhere between. Stuff to think about.
But Ireland, location information out in public or gathered by surveillance companies, especially real-time and long-term data, is among the worst things, from a safety standpoint. People that use stupid toys like FourSquare are idiots, especially women, who are easy targets for stalkers and just plain crazy dudes. When you marry that data together with all the other shit that people put online, it's a recipe for disaster, and law enforcement has documented many cases like this, but people don't seem to pay attention. There's a reason that there's been so much pushback from the public on the use of geo-tracking devices by law enforcement (unless they have warrants, of course). You may not care personally, but location tracking is very, very bad.