Geo-location Sunday

Today I spent a bit playing with Yahoo’s new Fire Eagle location service. It has some pretty decent privacy controls and it is taking off fast as a junction point for location aware applications. If you sign up for Fire Eagle you can get an automatic invite to Bright Kite which has good sms and email mechanisms for updating your location. It also has decent privacy controls. Such as only close friends see your exact location and everyone else gets the city.

So I tied them together and then tied Brightkite to my twitter location. While I was doing this I was surprised to see how many of my twitter followers have their exact longitude and latitude coordinates updating from their iPhone. I would wager a lot of them did not give a real thought to the privacy concerns. Or that it tells a lot of people when you are definitely not home. Worse, imagine your kids with iPhones and twitter. Raises cyber bullying to a whole new level if the bully can go straight to where they really are.

I would recommend disabling location updates and wipe the current location. Or use something like Fire Eagle/Brightkite to mask your location to a city level where it has value to you.

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