Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Cloud Computing
Is your endpoint data protected?
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Facebook Rolls Out Opt-In Friend Tracker

Facebook Rolls Out Opt-In Friend Tracker
By Seth Fitzgerald

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

Social media giant Facebook will urge users to opt-in to its "Nearby Friends" friend-tracking feature so advertisers can benefit from extra information. Facebook users should not enable Nearby Friends and allow their locations to be sold to the highest bidder and accessible to people who want to spy on their activities, said privacy expert Jeffrey Chester.
 


Social media giant Facebook is rolling out its new “Nearby Friends” feature that will tell users how close they are to people on their friends list. This feature, which carries with it a variety of privacy concerns, will not be turned on by default. Unlike other additions to the social network that were turned on upon launch, Nearby Friends is entirely optional.

The feature has been in the works for a while and Facebook executives have been talking about location tracking features for many years. Typically, when Facebook adds a major feature to its site, it is doing so with advertising in mind. With Nearby Friends, the social network has already stated that it will eventually use the information gathered from tracking users to enhance its advertising options.

A Useful Feature

Many of Facebook’s features are easy to set up, but that is not necessarily the case with Nearby Friends. The new service comes with a wide variety of options, most of which exist to combat privacy concerns, particularly those dealing with other users and not the site itself.

Social networks are already used by malicious individuals who can rely on updates and location information to stalk other people. By adding a real-time location tracker to Facebook, the potential for criminal abuse is even higher. Luckily, users who choose to enable the feature must be at least 18 years old and after it is turned on, they have multiple privacy-centric options at their disposal.

By default, Nearby Friends will only broadcast the general location of a user. Therefore, people will only know what city other people are in as well as how far away they are. Users have the ability to chose who can see their locations as well, by narrowing down their friends list to “close friends” or even a specific list of people. In situations where it is beneficial for one user to know another user’s exact location, the option to enable detailed location sharing is available and can be adjusted to remain in effect for a certain time period.

Money Maker

One aspect of Nearby Friends has already provided some insight into how Facebook will use the service once it becomes mainstream and the roll out is completed. The component in question is the location log. Users who turn on Nearby Friends have no choice but to allow the network to create a list of a person’s previous locations.

Even though they have some control over this component -- users can manually delete individual locations -- Facebook has admitted that the feature will eventually be used for advertising purposes. A company spokesperson told TechCrunch that “at this time [Nearby Friends is] not being used for advertising or marketing, but in the future it will be.”

We caught up with Jeffrey Chester, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy, to get his view on the new tracking feature. He told us that Facebook will encourage people to enable the services so that advertisers can benefit from the extra information.

"Facebook is expanding its close tracking of ourselves and our friends in order to sell us to their advertisers," says Chester. "Facebook users should not allow their location to be sold to the highest bidder -- and accessible to people who want to spy on our activities."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Get Powerful App Acceleration with Cisco. In a world where time is money, you need to accelerate the speed at which data moves through your data center. Cisco UCS Invicta delivers powerful, easy-to-manage application acceleration for data-intensive workloads. So you can make decisions faster and outpace the competition. Learn More.


 Cloud Computing
1.   Concerto 2200: Dedupe, Compression
2.   Office 365 Tailored for Attorneys
3.   Apple Opens China iCloud Data Center
4.   Samsung Buys SmartThings
5.   Cisco Axes 6,000 Employees


advertisement
Concerto 2200: Dedupe, Compression
Firms save money by saving space.
Average Rating:
Samsung Buys SmartThings
To allow people, appliances to interact.
Average Rating:
Cisco Axes 6,000 Employees
Company is facing declining profits.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 
Chinese Hackers Nab Info on Millions of U.S. Patients
A group of Chinese hackers has stolen the personal information, including names and Social Security numbers, of about 4.5 million patients at hospitals operated by Community Health Systems.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
Businesses everywhere want computing solutions that do more for less money, and Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 
Compression, Deduplication Come to Violin Concerto 2200
Violin Memory has announced that data deduplication and compression capabilities are now available on its Concerto 2200 solution. Typically, users will experience deduplication rates between 6:1 and 10:1.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Apple Stock Soars Ahead of iPhone 6 Launch
The imminent release of the iPhone 6 -- and maybe even an iWatch -- has sent Apple's stock soaring to new heights. Considering what else the firm could have up its sleeve -- the stratosphere may be the limit.
 
HTC Debuts Windows Phone Version of One M8 Smartphone
HTC is bringing the Windows Phone mobile OS to its flagship One M8 device -- the first time any mainstream flagship smartphone has been offered with a choice of operating systems.
 
Verizon Earns Top Rating in Mobile Network Comparison
A new report says Verizon Wireless was the top-performing U.S. cellphone service provider in the first half of 2014, on a nationwide and state-by-state basis, as well as in metro areas.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.