Location sharing with Facebook notifications.
For anyone using Facebook who has ever felt the need to go off somewhere and be left alone, there is good news! A new Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) feature called Nearby Friends -- which notifies friends of your current location -- is optional (for now).
For those choosing to enable the feature, what won't be optional are Facebook's plans to share location histories with third parties. But then again -- if past behavior is the best predictor -- Facebook could very well be a hop, skip, and Terms of Service change away from collecting everyone's location history whether they want it or not.
In IT Blogwatch, bloggers can run, but they can't hide.
Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.
Zach Miners broadcasts his location:
Facebook now has its own take on location sharing, an optional feature that periodically broadcasts people's locations to their friends.
...Those who turn on the feature will be occasionally notified when friends are nearby via...notification on their device. Users can choose which...friends will be notified of their location. Users can turn off the feature at any time. MORE
And Anu Passary expands his horizons:
[The] world's largest social media website announced the launch of another neat feature in a bid to expand its user base. MORE
Straight from the horse's bookie:
Nearby Friends helps you discover which friends are nearby or on the go.
...If you turn on Nearby Friends, you'll occasionally be notified when friends are nearby, so you can get in touch with them and meet up.
...Nearby Friends is an optional feature. You can choose who can see if you're nearby (for example: your friends, close friends, or a specific friends list) and you can turn it on and off at any time. MORE
Kurt Wagner isn't frightened of travelling to new locations :
For many users, the thought of Facebook collecting data about the places they visit most often is frightening.
..."We are totally OK with people not wanting to opt in right away," [Facebook PM Andrea Vaccari] says. MORE
Josh Constine gets right to the point:
Facebook says it's not using its new Nearby Friends feature to target ads yet, but after I asked why it's tracking "Location History" it admitted it will eventually use the data for marketing purposes. MORE
Revenues unnerve some, but Jennifer Van Grove is only surprised:
Though the news may be unnerving, it shouldn't come as a surprise that [Facebook] would want to keep tabs on where you are. [It] is in the business of selling advertising and the more data it can provide to ad buyers...the better.
...In Facebook's defense, the company has made the...feature optional and does allow those who have opted-in to delete their location history from their activity log. MORE
Meanwhile, Michael Allen starts an investigation:
According to the Wall Street Journal, Chris Conley, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, believes that Facebook should keep its users aware of everyone who sees their location.
...Jeffrey Chester, of the Center for Digital Democracy, wants the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate the app's new feature. A Facebook spokeswoman claims that Facebook already discusses its products with the FTC. MORE
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