A BBC report raises concerns about privacy issues associated with Google’s new tracking service, Latitude. This uses data from mobile phone masts, GPS, or wi-fi hardware to update a user’s location automatically. Although it is an opt-in service, there are fears that not everyone may know that their phone is broadcasting their location.
There is, though, huge potential for such a service – not just as a fun way for friends to ‘keep in touch’, but also possibly for people concerned about relatives with dementia, or others who might get ‘lost’.
As ever, Google is pushing the boundaries in terms of how society uses technology, and the ways in which that technology in turn shapes society.