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Google Latitude Helps Track Mobile Users

     
12:31 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Google Latitude Helps Track Mobile Users [uk.reuters.com]
Google Inc released software on Wednesday that allows users of mobile phones and other wireless devices to automatically share their whereabouts with family and friends.

Users in 27 countries will be able to broadcast their location to others constantly, using Google Latitude. Controls allow users to select who receives the information or to go offline at any time, Google said on its Web site.

"Fun aside, we recognize the sensitivity of location data, so we've built fine-grained privacy controls right into the application," Google said in a blog post announcing the service.

"You not only control exactly who gets to see your location, but you also decide the location that they see."

No smartphone? [googleblog.blogspot.com]

No smartphone? No worries. Visit google.com/latitude on your desktop or laptop to install the Latitude iGoogle gadget and share your location right from your computer. If you have Google Gears installed in your browser (you do by default if you use Google Chrome), you can automatically share your location; otherwise, manually set your location to let your friends know where you are.
2:25 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Scary much?
6:30 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Sigh ... I don't mean to sound conspiratorial, but, for some years now, I have thought that, if we ever ended up in a socialist state, it would have been pushed on us under the guise of safety and peace of mind, and we would have allowed it with a smile and a thank you.

I'm fairly convinced that, in twenty years or so, we will all have a small device, that functions as a phone, browser, notebook, method of payment, storage for our medical information, GPS, camera, sound recorder .......................

Welcome to a new world! :)

7:36 pm on Feb 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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This seams like an extension of the technology already available within Google maps for mobile devices, Even without a GPS receiver, it still knows where you are based on Cell antenas and triangulating your location.

I can see it having some advantages for example knowing exactly where your kids are. Or perhaps assisting law enforcement to recover stolen devices?

It is amazing just how much information people are willing to provide about themselfes. With this service people know where you are, if you use Twitter they know what youre doing.

Kinda scary!

Mack.

12:26 am on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Can't wait until the subpoenas from divorce attorneys, auto insurance companies, worker's compensation investigators, and law enforcement agencies requesting this information starts.
3:39 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If anyone is interested the BBC have an article about it:

[news.bbc.co.uk...]

4:59 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It'll be time to go back to land lines and pay phones pretty soon. :) Some things are better left unknown an unrecorded.
6:45 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm testing it at the moment, however, I can see the issues around privacy and so-called "big brother." Equally, I can also see positive aspects, such as where your kids are, etc.

If you don't like it, don't use it. Just be aware of the privacy implications. It's clearly shown when signing up.

8:48 pm on Feb 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

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[privacyinternational.org ]

The Director of Privacy International, Simon Davies, said:

"Many people will see Latitude as a cool product, but the reality is that Google has yet again failed to deliver strong privacy and security. The company has a long way to go before it can capture the trust of phone users."

"As it stands right now, Latitude could be a gift to stalkers, prying employers, jealous partners and obsessive friends. The dangers to a user's privacy and security are as limitless as the imagination of those who would abuse this technology."

6:20 am on Feb 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I think the last thing anyone would want is Google knowing EVERYTHING about you.

Controls allow users to select who receives the information

Well, except Google, I guess. They need to know. They will store the data, and use them for their own profit. This outfit has gone a long walk from being "just a very good search engine" to becoming "big brother" and the dream of any totalitarian politician.

1:31 pm on Feb 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It was good to see that SearchEngineLand gave a good debunking to Privacy International's comments.

[searchengineland.com...]