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    Google Latitude: a step in the right direction, or a step too far?

    If you've not heard of Google's new(ish) location-based service, then allow me to explain. The premise is to do away with the 'check in'-based model employed by the likes of Facebook Places, Gowalla, and Foursquare, and instead constantly monitor your location and report it back to Google and your friends even when the app is not running (if you so wish).

    The US already have a similar service called Loopt, but this will probably gain much wider adoption given that it's a Google product (Google launched the Latitude iPhone app yesterday). But I think we have to consider the privacy implications of sharing our real-time location 24/7.

    Discuss.
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    Sick. I can see where we are going. Step by step.
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    i have it... absolutely none of my friends do... so at the moment its really pointless, but i can see it being really quite useful in a year or so
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    I'm on Latitude, and I don't see anything wrong with it. Knowing where I am is not the same as knowing what I'm doing. Also, it's a simple tool for allowing me to track where my phone is if it gets stolen.

    Funny this should come up, another one of my friends found me on latitude yesterday so it's not totally pointless from a networking view now, either. I reckon a lot of people will sign up to it over the next few years as tablets and smartphones become more popular.
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    (Original post by didgeridoo12uk)
    i have it... absolutely none of my friends do... so at the moment its really pointless, but i can see it being really quite useful in a year or so
    Why would you want everyone to know where you are all the time? Or do you only put certain locations you choose to up? Maybe I've misunderstood how it works...
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    (Original post by ily_em)
    Why would you want everyone to know where you are all the time? Or do you only put certain locations you choose to up? Maybe I've misunderstood how it works...
    The default setting is that only friends can see where you are all the time. It uses the GPS in smartphones and more advanced tablets to update, in real-time, the locations of a device and thus presumably it's owner.
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    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    I'm on Latitude, and I don't see anything wrong with it. Knowing where I am is not the same as knowing what I'm doing. Also, it's a simple tool for allowing me to track where my phone is if it gets stolen.

    Funny this should come up, another one of my friends found me on latitude yesterday so it's not totally pointless from a networking view now, either. I reckon a lot of people will sign up to it over the next few years as tablets and smartphones become more popular.
    First, cameras everywhere.
    Second, calls,messages and emails are recorded.
    Third, your location (and shallow idea of what are you doing) becomes something public.
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    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    The default setting is that only friends can see where you are all the time. It uses the GPS in smartphones and more advanced tablets to update, in real-time, the locations of a device and thus presumably it's owner.
    Still, I'd find it really creepy even if it was just my friends knowing that... each to their own I guess :P
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    (Original post by ily_em)
    Why would you want everyone to know where you are all the time? Or do you only put certain locations you choose to up? Maybe I've misunderstood how it works...
    Mothers will want to know where their children are.
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    (Original post by ily_em)
    Why would you want everyone to know where you are all the time? Or do you only put certain locations you choose to up? Maybe I've misunderstood how it works...
    you can set it up a number of different ways, but however you set it up only your friends will be able to see you.
    you can have it so you manually select your location on a map, have it update your location whenever you go on the app, or just be running constantly in the background. or of course temporarily turn it off

    and having my friends know where i am the whole time, and being able to see where my friends are the whole time could be hugely useful
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    (Original post by SoulfulBoy)
    First, cameras everywhere.
    Second, calls,messages and emails are recorded.
    Third, your location (and shallow idea of what are you doing) becomes something public.
    The third can be derived from the first with frightening ease anyway. It's not like I'm sharing my location with the government - just Google and myself. There are serious practical applications such as the emergency services knowing where I am if I have my mobile with me.

    I'm sharing limited information with my friends and a company that I broadly trust (Google). This is not a police state's wet dream - it's optional, controlled by the individual and the data is not available to anyone I don't want it to be available to. Oh, and the big one - I can turn it off any time I like, either by turning my mobile off and dropping off the cellular grid completely, or by turning latitude off and stopping that application interfacing with the servers.
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    I had no idea that's what latitude was.
    I have it on my phone, but I mean no-one else I know has it so doesn't really matter I guess.
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    (Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
    The third can be derived from the first with frightening ease anyway. It's not like I'm sharing my location with the government - just Google and myself. There are serious practical applications such as the emergency services knowing where I am if I have my mobile with me.

    I'm sharing limited information with my friends and a company that I broadly trust (Google). This is not a police state's wet dream - it's optional, controlled by the individual and the data is not available to anyone I don't want it to be available to. Oh, and the big one - I can turn it off any time I like, either by turning my mobile off and dropping off the cellular grid completely, or by turning latitude off and stopping that application interfacing with the servers.
    I understand your point. Of course, only you and Google will know where you are. The great step is you letting some one-time private information to become public (it does not matter if to one or five friends). It's more about your increasing permisiveness regarding private aspects of yourself.
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    (Original post by chemical_bex)
    I had no idea that's what latitude was.
    I have it on my phone, but I mean no-one else I know has it so doesn't really matter I guess.
    The only significant thing wich matters is as I have only said to one user, your increasing permisiveness regarding private aspects of your life.
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    (Original post by didgeridoo12uk)
    you can set it up a number of different ways, but however you set it up only your friends will be able to see you.
    you can have it so you manually select your location on a map, have it update your location whenever you go on the app, or just be running constantly in the background. or of course temporarily turn it off

    and having my friends know where i am the whole time, and being able to see where my friends are the whole time could be hugely useful
    That's less privacy for you, you know. If you prefer to be constantly updated about your friends location rather than your portion of privacy, then it must be useful. Otherwise, it's a step further in the disappearance of your privacy.
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    I'm not going to use it. If I lose my phone, I have dedicated security software to find it. I just don't like the idea of people being able to find me wherever I am.
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    (Original post by SoulfulBoy)
    That's less privacy for you, you know. If you prefer to be constantly updated about your friends location rather than your portion of privacy, then it must be useful. Otherwise, it's a step further in the disappearance of your privacy.
    i really couldn't care less about my privacy, i don't get why everyone is so uptight about it all.

    and for the few times where i actually dont want people to know where i am etc, i can turn it off temporarily.
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    (Original post by didgeridoo12uk)
    i really couldn't care less about my privacy, i don't get why everyone is so uptight about it all.

    and for the few times where i actually dont want people to know where i am etc, i can turn it off temporarily.
    I'm totally with you on this one, I just started this thread to play devil's advocate.

    My only gripe with it is battery drainage, but it's pretty much impossible to be intermittently polling for my location without using some of that sweet sweet juice.
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      (Original post by didgeridoo12uk)
      i have it... absolutely none of my friends do... so at the moment its really pointless, but i can see it being really quite useful in a year or so
      Ditto.
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      (Original post by i.am.lost)
      I'm totally with you on this one, I just started this thread to play devil's advocate.

      My only gripe with it is battery drainage, but it's pretty much impossible to be intermittently polling for my location without using some of that sweet sweet juice.
      how much damage does it do to the battery life?

      after i realised none of my friends had it, i just turned it off so havent had much time to test it fully
     
     
     
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