It seems a lot of people are a little worried about loss of privacy when it comes to geolocation phone apps, but a staggering 45 percent of those surveyed in a recent Webroot study don’t seem bothered at all about letting burglars know when they’re out of the house.
Or their wives finding out they’re not “working late at the office”. As Twitter has deployed some location-based features a la Foursquare, and with Facebook probably on the way too, it’s somewhat surprising that just under half of those surveyed aren’t fussed about devices that they carry around *all the time* being able to pinpoint their exact location.
And why not, unless they’ve got something to hide, right? That’s the shtick rolled out by government security “experts” about why it’s totally okay to have a CCTV camera pointed directly into your bedroom window, too.
The survey found that 29 percent of those surveyed had shared their location with people they didn’t personally know, and one in nine *used a location-based tool to meet a stranger* digitally or in person – the Daily Mail could have a field day with this one.
Of those surveyed, about a quarter were victims of a phishing attempt to steal social networking passwords – which could potentially reveal a list of places the victim had signed in with geolocation apps. About a third of those surveyed, 31 percent, said they had accepted a friend request from a total stranger.
A paranoid cynic, and not that we are paranoid cynics here at TechEye, could suggest that people wilfully submitting their location is naive especially when there are so many security and privacy concerns connected to social media. Or could it be used by unscrupulous app developers to sell off location based marketing data? Webroot suggests users turn off their “locate me” features on iPhones or the GPS photo-tagging feature found on most smartphones.
TechEye had a chat with Alex Deane, Director of Big Brother Watch, who told us:
“People who do this are sacrificing their privacy for very little gain. The potential uses of this information against people vary from the sinister to the deeply irritating – from burglars spotting when you’re away from home, to your boss demanding to see where you are at all times – not to mention the marketing you’ll expose yourself to based on your location.
“We have to decide what kind of society we want to live in. I think that opting for one in which we voluntarily allow the rest of the world to track us would be a bad choice.”