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Should we adopt Geo-Location?

December 24, 2009

I have been posting on and off about how to protect your privacy.  If you have noticed, I give very little information about myself on this blog.  It’s not because I was to keep my writing anonymous, it’s because I have made the choice not to have my identity implicated with this blog.  Again, its just a choice I made — unlike someone whose brand is them, mine is ‘The Acumenity,’ which is separate from me.

Ranting aside, geo-tagging or geo-location applications have become increasingly popular.  I recently put UberTwitter on my phone and made sure to set the defaults so that it would not post my location onto the tweet.  I just don’t think everyone needs to know where I am.  There should be a division.

There is also a safety issue, popular applications like FourSquare and Gowalla allow you to share your locations with your friends. These two applications are even games/contests so where you go matters when trying to accumulate points.  Twitter just recently bought Mixer Labs and is hoping to integrate the geo-location into its API.

There is a lot of potential in geo-location.  Companies could harness this for PR campaigns or interactive ads.  However, I believe the risks are too high.

We have all heard about the robberies due to status updates, saying that you are out of the house makes you more of a target.  Not that you shouldn’t trust your friends who are seeing your updates, but with the opening on Facebook and Twitter, really anyone can figure out where you are (or are not).

Even though geo-tagging could be pretty awesome, I am not one of the first adopters — then again, maybe I’m just paranoid.

Update: Fantastic guide to Gowalla and Foursquare:

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