The issue of privacy and security has long been a huge concern in the LBS space although it seems to come and go in debate. I was interested to notice recently that a Twitter contact of mine has decided to hit the eject button and bail out of using social location aware services like foursquare, GoWalla, and the like.
I have to admit, Andrew has some great points and it does make you sit back and wonder why the hell am I doing this? I’ve noticed recently that the social-location services, which are just now attempting to go mainstream, have been typically adopted at an early stage by techno geeks and the social media savvy. It’s also interesting to note that it seems many of the long-time “power” users (myself included, are now bailing out of checkin in from their favorite places and sharing everything they do with their Twitter stream and facebook status. The main reason seems to be lack of reward or benefit, I mean after-all, what real benefit is there in crowd-sourcing all that great information without any real tangible benefit? Why are we all giving foursquare, Yelp, Loopt, GoWalla and others all that great data? We QC crappy data, often quickly supplied by someone when they check-in, without little care for accuracy.
But Andrew brings up the safety and privacy issue which I think many of us (me included) have dismissed. What value is there in the whole world knowing where and when I go for coffee or to the gym? Even worse, as many of us likely neglect to disable geolocation provisioning from our twitter clients, we are likely also sharing details of where we live and work – often without meaning to provide that information. I’m sure I have shared media showing exactly where I live, work and play and Andrew reminds me that indeed this may not be a good idea. I’m not losing sleep at the moment, however, as a precaution just remember, if you decide to stalk me I may have a golf club or a baseball bay handy! See Andrew’s Interesting Post Here