Why would you want all of your Facebook friends to know where you are 100% of the time?
The social networking site launched a new feature this week called Facebook Places. The new feature shares your location with your friends and borrows heavily from existing services like Foursquare and Gowalla.
Facebook staff said the feature will be useful not only to let friends know where they are, but also to learn if their friends are nearby at the same time, and to write down what they are doing at the location and what they think about it — creating a trail allowing friends to see what the writer did there days or even years ago.
Places product manager Michael Sharon wrote on Facebook’s blog that Places has safeguards to address potential privacy concerns.
First, check-ins will appear only to users’ Facebook friends as a default, and users can further trim the recipients list to specific friends. Users also can remove check-ins by phone or web at any time, Sharon said.
Yes, if you have a Facebook account, you are now automatically logged into the service, so your friends can tag your locations. To disable: From your Account menu, chose Privacy Settings, click Customize and then Customize Settings. Under Things I Share, you can change Places I Check In and People Here Now.
Also, if you don’t want your friends to check you into Places, sharing your current location with a bunch of people you may or may not know, go down to the section called Things Others Share and find Friends can check me in to Places. Set this to Disabled.
So, in a nutshell Places will let people know when you are not home, when you are away on a two-week vacation, when you leave work, when you go to Target, when you arrive at Vanessa’s birthday party, and let weirdos know where minors (the millions of minors on Facebook) are hanging out. Sounds like Places can invade your privacy, all you have to do is sign-in. Use at your own risk, Madames.
Places? No thanks, if you’re really my friend then I’ll let you know where I am.