Location-based services like Foursquare and the upcoming Facebook Places (not to mention Gowalla, Google Latitude and similar services to a lesser extent) are introducing a new dimension to the online privacy debate. This is largely because these services bridge the online-offline distinction in a very real and immediate way. I wrote a post for Memeburn on this topic titled “Find your privacy comfort zone before using location-based services”. This post is worth reading if you ever had a concern about your privacy and personal safety using these increasingly popular services. Here is a teaser:
Location-based services like Google Latitude, Foursquare, Gowalla and, more recently, Facebook Places (currently rolling out gradually to US users) are tremendously useful and fun to use. But they also highlight some pretty serious privacy issues you should be thinking about if you use these or similar location-based services.
You need to think clearly about the kind of location information you want to release onto the web before you get started.
Read the rest of the post here and feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
If you are unfamiliar with Facebook Places, take a look at this video: