Protect Your Privacy

Why is it that people must always be reminded to avoid voluntarily divulging information they don’t want others to know? When you provide your location to servies like Facebook and Foursquare, don’t be surprised when some clever individual finds a way to use that information for less than noble purposes:

The developer of a controversial mobile app that used data from Facebook and Foursquare to reveal the location of nearby women defended its intentions Saturday after drawing a firestorm of criticism over privacy concerns.

On Saturday, Foursquare cut off access to the “Girls Around Me” app that made it possible to view the location of women on a map and their publicly available data and photographs from Facebook. Foursquare said the app violated a policy against aggregating information across venues. A number of blogs, led by Cult of Mac, raised questions as to whether the app encourages stalking.

You know what encourages stalking? Putting your location and other personal data out there for all to see. Think about this for a minute: when you check-in on Facebook or Foursquare everybody following you can see where you are, and those not following you can see where you are depending on your privacy settings. Since other people can see where you are, well, they know where you are. Should you want to avoid having stalkers it would be smart not to broadcast your location for all to hear.

Some may ask how you are supposed to alert your friends of your location if you don’t use a check-in service and to that I would say this: call you friends and tell them where you are. A phone call, unlike a check-in on Facebook and Foursquare, doesn’t get broadcast for all to hear. Instead only you, your friend, and the National Security Agency (NSA) will know where you are.

Don’t be stupid, when you put something on the Internet it’s there for all to see. When you don’t want people to see something don’t put it on the Internet.