Talking tech since 2003

By now you have probably heard of PleaseRobMe a service which aggregates all of the foursquare check-in’s into one place using the tweets sent out through the application.  There has been a lot of uproar about this new “service” and I personally don’t see it as such a big deal provided you do not check-in to your home (and why would you anyway? You couldn’t any benefits from that).  I also understand there are other possibilities for stalking and such things but it is unlikely they will attack you in a public place.  Could they follow you home from there?  I guess.  But let’s explore some more.

There have also been some people saying if you check-in some place, someone could use PleaseRobMe to find out and then break into you car.  However, if you think about it, they still need to know what kind of car you drive, the color, and your license plate number (to make sure the car is really yours).  There are a lot of variables in each of these possible situations.  I also understand that some people are very privacy conscious and I have a solution for those people (and for foursquare).

Yesterday, after discussing this topic with Mandy, I decided to check out foursquare’s privacy settings and to my surprise there is no way (that I see) to limit check-in notifications for your friends only.  Why?  If foursquare provided that option, it wouldn’t affect the game or purpose of the service (that I can tell).  It would essentially be the equivalent or making your Twitter account private.  You could still let your friends know where you are without losing the privacy you wish to maintain.  Additionally, provided you let businesses know where you are in their vicinity you can still receive notifications on specials and other deals (again without losing your privacy).

If foursquare were to add these additional privacy features it would eliminate a lot of the criticism associated with these location based networks.  What do you think?  Are you concerned with your privacy on foursquare?  If so, would adding these additional privacy features make you reconsider using the service?

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