Location-finding Applications – Benefits for Consumers vs Loss of Privacy in the #SurveillanceState

posted Mar 14, 2013, 3:04 AM by Peter Joseph Moons

Surveillance State Blog

Location-finding Applications – Benefits for Consumers and Finding Friends vs Loss of Privacy


 From a CNN article: “Facebook is developing a smartphone app that would track the location of users.”


Comments by Peter Joseph Moons.


A ‘digital privacy divide’ certainly separates users of smartphones and social media.  Without scientific proof, meaning on perception alone, one could posit that youth (say, under 30) are more comfortable with and willing to ‘share’ data about themselves than are those older than that.  Where that line actually lies is likely a median range; of course, there will be outliers who are older and share data profusely while there are young people who do not.


Clearly, Facebook seeks to capitalize on users’ likes and data points in an effort to promote knowledge of consumers’ taste to marketers.  A location-recognizing mobile application will benefit Facebook because the company and link users of the application to nearby retailers who can send offers to the user, or post advertisements on the app.  A brilliant marketing move.  Imagine a restaurant that offers everyone within five miles radius a discount coupon via the Facebook location app – the return on investment may be exponential.  This will be better than Groupon.


Users of location-identifying applications such as the one Facebook is developing are comfortable with sharing data.  This demographic cohort is going to increase in time, to the joy of Facebook, advertisers, retailers, and friends who want to find each other.  Users should know that when they broadcast their location, they only have the power to transmit, but they do not control who can find them.

Government Control Grade: 9. (Potential.)

Freedom Grade: 1. (The only personal defense against being found in general will be to not use a location-finding application; however, users will forego privacy to gain the benefits of the application.)