Kirkatronics

Google Knows Where You Are

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Google this morning released a location-sharing feature called Latitude for its mobile phones Maps application. It allows friends to keep track of each other in real time, adding a social layer to the directions, traffic, and business listings currently found on the service.

 

Despite Google’s best efforts, privacy concerns have come to the forefront of the discussion of this app. The company devoted a long paragraph in its introductory blog post and put together a video outlining Latitude’s safeguards, but one commenter on the productivity blog Lifehacker summed up the anxiety pretty well:

 

So, Google tracks what you read in Gmail, has your phone number and your day’s schedule for their Google Calendar, saves what you type in Gchat and the places you’ve been in Google Maps… now they want us to tie where we live into all of that personal information? Ummm…. does that bother anyone else?

 

But in his extensive review of the service, Search Engine Land’s Greg Sterling points to the opt-in nature of the app.

 

Those who do opt in can do so very selectively with individual people; one can hide at any time from selected contacts or the entire network. One can also expose location at the city level or extremely precisely (using triangulation/GPS). Users can also sign out when they simply don’t want to be located.

 

Location can also be set manually. I can thus appear to be in Paris, France when I’m really in Southern California. Steve Lee told me this was one of the surprises from the testing Google did with early users. Many people placed themselves “aspirationally” in different locations (e.g., I’d rather be in Hawaii) than where they actually were.

 

 

But this doesn’t really address the Big Brother fears. You can hide from certain friends, but Google still knows where you are. And, while omnipresent, the Internet giant isn’t infallible. Earlier this week, a software glitch caused Google to label every search result as “malware,” prompting many to ponder the troubling implications of a “Google monoculture.”

 

Ready to dip your toe into location sharing – perhaps, as Google suggests, to let family know you’ve landed automatically after a flight? Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Android, and S60 users can head to google.com/latitude to download the updated application. Desktop users can set up a version of the service through the customizable startpage service iGoogle. And, Google says it expects functionality for iPhone to arrive as an update to its Google Mobile App soon.

http://features.csmonitor.com/innovation/2009/02/04/stalk-your-friends-with-google/

 

 

This is a huge step in technology in my oppinions, although it may allienate people and take away aspects of their privacy.

I like how google keep throwing new ideas out, and executing them quite well.

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Sounds quite a good thing to me. I don't see people's problems with it. You don't have to download the app.

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Google doesn't track what you read in e-mail, and doesn't track your location. No-one at Google has access to this, and no advertiser partnering with Google has it either. It is encrypted so that it can only do automated context aware ads, that no other human can ever access this information besides you. Google has no interest in having this information anyway; as long as the ads are automated everybody is happy.

 

If Google did do this, they would've been sued to oblivion already.

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People who say this are most likely the same people who think all gamers are evil murderers.

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So it's a service that tracks your movement real-time and shares it with approved contacts... in which you can turn off at any time and exclude certain contacts if you which... doesn't sound like it's infringing on privacy to me.

 

Nice idea by Google though.

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Let's pretend that Google really are compiling a database on all of their users' personal information. What then? Launch Skynet, sell it to various different terrorist cells, build their own personal army and overthrow the governments of the world? These conspiracy theories are ridiculous, they wouldn't get away with misusing anyone's personal details.

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GOOGLE WILL KILL US ALL!!!

 

*runs around screaming*

 

err...yeh, this looks like a good Idea. I love the Google Behemoth! :)

 

can they hear me?

 

Seriously though. Google Chrome. Do It.

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Seriously though. Google Chrome. Do It.

 

*High fives* Google Chrome is brilliant.

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*High fives* Google Chrome is brilliant.

 

After using it at school I'd have to agree with that. Still no Mac version though.

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Huzzah for using google chrome at school!

 

On the whole google is watching I doubt anyone has something to hide from google on where your going...

Also abusing this is just bad buissness

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It's makes me laugh when people get all paranoid about all this "big brother" stuff. Imagine if everyone had this. There would be 6 billion people to monitor. How in the world would they be able to monitor everyone. You're a nobody like most other people. Google don't give a shit where you are.

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I'm surprised no-one has posted this

Top 10 Moments Caught on Google Maps

 

I can see a facebook app appearing within the next few years if this is successful.... Cyber stalking just got scary.

 

Suppose its useful in its ways, but not everyone wants to be tracked 24/7. But on the other hand you could say, if you have nothing to hide why worry about it.

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Suppose its useful in its ways, but not everyone wants to be tracked 24/7.

 

But you can hide yourself whenever you want, so it shouldn't be a problem. Plus the option of having your full location or just the city/town is good.

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*High fives* Google Chrome is brilliant.

 

RELAPSE HIGH FIVE

 

That's when we

 

*high five*

 

Then it's awkward for a bit....

 

....

 

THEN WE

 

*HIGH FIVE AGAIN* : peace:

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Its a good idea from Google, i can see it catching on for a while once it gets released until the ineveitable occurs between parents and children.

 

"Where are you"

"I'm at my mates"

"No your not, your in town."

 

Now what would the kids say to this.

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Its a good idea from Google, i can see it catching on for a while once it gets released until the ineveitable occurs between parents and children.

 

"Where are you"

"I'm at my mates"

"No your not, your in town."

 

Now what would the kids say to this.

They can set a false location, so this wouldnt be the case unless the child was stupid.

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They can set a false location, so this wouldnt be the case unless the child was stupid.

 

Or if they were unaware that their parents installed it on their phone.

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But on the other hand you could say, if you have nothing to hide why worry about it.

 

I hate that saying its really rather stupid, that is like saying the law is 100% correct all of the time, which is quite frankly retarded.

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I hate that saying its really rather stupid, that is like saying the law is 100% correct all of the time, which is quite frankly retarded.

 

Taking aside the fact I didn't actually specify that, (please don't take non-existent words out of my mouth, thanks) you do realise I actually made arguments for both sides? A fair evaluation of something takes the negative and positive sides. Also I didn't state it as my opinion. Just as the other side of the argument.

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Or if they were unaware that their parents installed it on their phone.

 

I thought you had to authorize people to be able to view your location?

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Taking aside the fact I didn't actually specify that, (please don't take non-existent words out of my mouth, thanks) you do realise I actually made arguments for both sides? A fair evaluation of something takes the negative and positive sides. Also I didn't state it as my opinion. Just as the other side of the argument.

I didn't state it was your entire opinion at all, I said is I hate that saying (sorry if I implied it). Its just something I hear over and over again and seems to me mindlessly mouthed without thought. Its the mantra for CCTV and ID cards which I am happy to say I am completely against.

 

On this case on this technology I just don't really see the point.

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Or if they were unaware that their parents installed it on their phone.

They could also install tracking devices into their clothes without them knowing.

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Its the mantra for CCTV and ID cards which I am happy to say I am completely against.

 

But it seems bloody obvious that if you don't have anything to hide then why would you care about ID cards and CCTV? It's a pretty bullet-proof argument. Oh yeah, we wouldn't want CCTV - that might catch someone trying to kill you on a night out in town.

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But how does this know the location? I think you're all over estimating the capabilities of this thing, I don't think its capable of pinpointing exactly, especially in Europe since its illegal for communication companies to give the location of they're clients even to authorities.

 

I understand how it can be worrying for people to be tracked every minute by a major company, even if its google.

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