Say you’re using a restaurant search app, and you’re aware that it’s using your GPS location to help find businesses near you. You’re OK with that. But perhaps the app doesn’t also tell you that it’s using your location for another purpose: to help advertisers better create a profile of you for targeted advertising.
Christina Bonnington on How Location-Based Apps Can Stave Off the ‘Creepy Factor’
FJP: Related is our post last week on the creepy app, Girls Around Me. Foursquare since revoked access to its API and the app was removed from the app store by its developers…for now.
The Big Question: What can be done to make users feel more comfortable sharing their information, especially when secondary uses of data (that are seemingly unrelated to an app’s functionality) remain unknown.
Thus, transparency and user control are key to keeping an app from coming across as untrustworthy or creepy. Developers already have the tools to make sure users are aware of geolocation features in apps, and it’s incumbent on them to use them.
Mobile devices could also employ “ambient notice” features to let users know when location data is being shared. For example, when you’re using your iPhone’s compass, you can see the phone’s arrow symbol and know your device is currently using that feature. Similar signposting could be used for location services. (via Wired)
The singularity draws nearer as two of the Web’s hottest trends—location-based services and hyperlocal content, merge, with a new tieup between Foursquare and Examiner.com.
In essence, Examiner’s 68,000 contributors, known as “Examiners,” will provide reviews and recommendations on nearby venues, restaurants, events, businesses and landmarks that will surface within the Foursquare mobile app when users following Examiner.com check in. Local tips will also be added when non-followers check-in nearby.
While content farms like Examiner.com flood the Internet with keyword optimized stories of variable quality, Foursquare has been pegged as an acquisition target for group deals sites like Groupon, which could then offer users targeted deals based on their location.