Facebook, location and deals – is it worth foregoing privacy?

For what benefit are you willing to disclose your present physical location?

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I have tried google latitude in the past – did not like it.  Did not seem to have enough fellow relevant participants to make it worth mu while saying where I was.  Recently been experimenting with FourSquare.  And now that I have my new android, checkin has never been easier.  However – again not sure what I want to tell the world that I’ve checked in at the local football ground on Saturday morning.

Seems facebook now onto the idea that there must be benefit to the user who shares his/her location.  And one idea is to offer deals which are relevant to your particular location.   So I guess if I were in town and you offered me a taxi fare at 60% discount from that location within the next hour I may be interested.  The quality of the deals would drive my willingness to reveal my location.  and it’ back to the old maxim: no personalisation without transparency.

Levi Sumagaysay’s piece in Silicon in Good Morning Silicon Valley captures most of this very well.

The privacy debate (or the privacy sale) continues.

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Do you want to share your current location?

Am currently experiencing real reluctance amongst the general population to disclose their physical location via social networks. This I think relates to the privacy issue.

I have tried Google Latitude and I am currently trying FourSquare.  and, doubtless, when the Facebook option is available in Ireland I will also try it.  But what are the practical applications for this technology, for me?

As with all of these technologies they depend on reaching a level of penetration in the general community (more specifically in your won community) to make them useful.

Seemed to me the following had potential: family at various events over the weekend – if we share our location can assist in tracking people down, organising lifts to/from matches, etc.  Indeed if used by all coaches of all teams within the various sports clubs then may help in terms of getting players and coaches to right venues.

This will not work for me at this stage.  My experience, to date, is that the large majority of my firends do nto want to share location information – down to basic privacy and personal preferences.  In fact, a significant minorityu do not want to have anything to so with social networks.

I think some form of integration between my diary and my location software would be useful – and may encourage greater use.

For now I will continue to test the various products.  Perhaps it’s a generational thing, perhaps it’s a cultural  thing, perhaps  it’s a question of adoption, perhaps it’s a question of privacy.

Today’s Irish Times has a good piece on this subject.

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