Facebook wants to track you even when you are not logged on
See where your friends are and which of your contacts are nearby. This is the excuse to get Facebook users to use the new app, scheduled to be released in mid-March, writes Bloomberg.com. The difference to the existing functions – where you can check in at various locations and show where you are when you send a message or update your status – is to that now you will be tracked even when you are not logged on.
But the new app is not only for members to keep track of their friends. For Facebook, the new service will be a real gold mine where they can sell more precise information to different advertisers about user movements and how their daily routines looks like.
Because of Facebook’s current user policy for mobile data, the new service is launched and put into use without the need for direct permission from the user. The User Agreement already states that the company collects information about members using among other things a GPS to tell you and your friends about people and events in the neighborhood, or to tell you about deals you might be interested in. Facebook may also collect information about users in order to offer ads that are more relevant.
Regulatory authorities in U.S. and Europe have already criticized Facebook for not keeping users personal information private enough, but so far, the company’s spokesman Derick Mains declined to give a comment.
Worth mentioning though is that Apple and Google already have similar tools for continuously keeping tabs on user whereabouts, so they are not any better.
So an obvious solution is just denying these kind of apps or turning off the GPS all together. But there are situations when you really want to keep track of someone, like parents with wild kids or elderly senile people with worried family members. Or even outdoor geeks pushing the limits…
In those cases I suggest (surprise!) you use a PingPal based app. Our own, or (soon) one of our app developers…