Privacy: Popular GPS–based Sites Pose Security Risks
Location-based websites that use a combination of GPS technology, gameplay, and marketing have become one of the hottest trends in social media today. Members of one such website, called Foursquare, earn virtual badges and rankings after they visit specific locations throughout their city and “check-in” via a cell phone app. Foursquare boasts over 1 million users and 10 “check-ins” per second. Friends can follow each other’s daily activities and even meet up, but now that businesses have begun to offer discounts and rewards for users who check-in often, the appeal to join such sites has grown exponentially.
Privacy advocates agree that members of GPS-based sites need to fully understand the risks involved with using them. Posting information about one’s whereabouts serves as an open invitation to potential cyber-stalkers who wish to locate them. Members also risk the chance of a home invasion since they may publically announce when they are not home. Plus, sites like Foursquare collect a ton of personal information about their members such as where they prefer to eat, shop and play.
Tagged as: cell phones, cyber stalking, Foursquare, GPS technology, information sharing, Internet Safety, Mobile, Privacy Online, safety, Social Networking Safety, video games