Calling George Orwell: Facebook Places Lets You Check-In Other People?

So I downloaded the new Facebook app on my iTouch to try and see if I could use the new Places feature. Places basically builds the “check in” functionality we have seen in other apps right into Facebook so that rather than having to sync a 3rd party app, you can post right to your stream. What I didn’t realize is that this new update for the mobile app also changed Facebook’s privacy settings once again.

Now I understand that if someone wants to share their location with their friends that is their business. I am fine with that. It turns out though that your friends can check you in to places even if you don’t. This is creepy. Think about the implications, and no I don’t just mean for all you cheaters out there who are worried about telling their significant other they are one place and being checked in to another. That means that unless you disable this feature anyone that recognizes you could check you in. Talk about 1984. To make matters worse, there was no announcment that users now had this option. If you didn’t discover this on your own, Facebook wasn’t about to tell you to turn this off.

Once again I can’t help but feel like they are putting the value of the data they are trying to collect over their users. It’s not to a point that people will stop using the site (in face most people don’t care) but as a corporation, its not right to sneak around behind your customers backs. I am all for sharing and data collection but I think, as with everything, there is a tasteful way to do it.

Here’s a link that highlights what I am talking about. http://bit.ly/bFUM0I

~C

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About clevis1

Christian Levis is the creator of EchoFriendly, a location based chat application for the iOS. He is a graduate of NYU's College of Arts & Sciences and holds degrees in biology and English along with a professional certificate in marketing. He also a graduate of the Fordham University School of Law, and deeply concerned about privacy and the impact that social media has on intellectual property. Christian is also a jazz pianist. His favorite band is Steely Dan. His favorite book is too hard to choose. He enjoys seafood but not really lobster and drinks more coffee than is probably healthy for a normal human being. You can find him on Twitter @echomeback Or on Facebook as...Christian Levis
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