Adding places and location services to the Facebook service is not that easy. Facebook Places users are having technical difficulties while privacy advocates are more than concerned. The default Facebook Places privacy settings let advertisers and partners know way too much information about where you've been.
According to the Facebook blog, "Places is slowly rolling out to all US users. If you have already downloaded the new version of the Facebook iPhone application or are accessing the touch.facebook.com, but are not yet able to check in, please try again soon."
The Electronic Pirvacy Information Center (Epic.org) posted a warning on their website concerned that Facebook Places
makes user location data routinely available to others, including
Facebook business partners, regardless of whether users wish to disclose
their location. They note that there is no single opt-out to avoid location tracking; users must change several different privacy settings to restore their privacy status quo.
"The opt-out process is too complicated and unfair to Facebook users. It puts their privacy at risk," Marc Rotenberg, executive director of
the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told Wireless and Mobile News
in a telephone interview.
EPIC recommends that Facebook users: (1) disable "Friends can check
me in to Places," (2) customize "Places I Check In," (3) disable "People
Here Now," and (4) uncheck "Places I've Visited."
On the privacy settingss page, click on "customize settings, beneath
the heading "Sharing on Facebook," On the list of "Places I check in"
you can check everyone, Friends of Friends, Friend only or customize.
You can also click on customize to set it to who sees the check-in to
"Only Me" or "Specific People."
Your friends can also check-in for you, and if you don't want them to
do it, you can disable the feature. Another privacy setting you need to
change is under "Info accesible through your friends, uncheck the box
for "Places I've Visited" allow box to ensure third party apps will not
access your data.
The process is complicated it required LifeHacker to make a video which does not cover the ability of apps to see "Places I visited."
We were thinking about how Facebook Places is also a great way for criminals to know when you away from home to rob your house. It's a great way for your boss to know where you really are when you call in sick, especially if your work for one of Facebook partners.
The Nielsen Company reported thirty-nine percent of smartphone owners use the Facebook app every 30 days--it is the most popular app on the iPhone (used by 58 percent of consumers) and BlackBerry (39 percent),. The Facebook app is the second most popular on Android (51 percent). Facebook has more than 150 million users worldwide who actively access the site via mobile device. Facebook user on smarpthones are twice as active on the site as non-mobile users.
At the end of the Facebook Locations event, they hit a gong and threw a switch, may that was alarm for Facebook users to check-out of check-ins and and example of the Third place being a very dangerous place.