Tag: location based technology

Geolocation privacy bill condemned by Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

Geolocation security privacy billThe think tank has raised considerable concerns regarding consumer safety and security.

In 2012, a geolocation privacy bill by Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, in order to provide the users of smartphones with a greater degree of control over the way that their data is controlled.

However, the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation feels this legislation is problematic.

The law that was proposed would make it necessary for app developers to require users to specifically opt in to programs that would allow for the collection or disclosure of geolocation data. It would no longer be permitted for apps to automatically select that option, so that users would need to actively opt out if they did not wish to share their information in that way.

The geolocation data was not being protected by the companies that collected it, said Franken.

According to the senator, the “Companies that collect our location information are not protecting it the way they should.” At that time, he made reference to a number of errors and blunders regarding privacy, which had drawn considerable media attention. This included reports that Android and iPhone devices were sending the geolocation data of their users to Google and Apple.

Not to mention the CarrierIQ fiasco. That company was a part of a high profile discovery in 2011, when the researcher demonstrated that its software was capable of logging the keystrokes that were made on smartphones.

While it is Franken’s intention to reintroduce the geolocation privacy bill in 2013, Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a think tank, is openly arguing that this proposed law may not encourage positive changes. In fact, it called the legislation “particularly problematic for apps that are supported by location-based advertising.”

It explained that the bill, which was designed to protect a user’s privacy in the face of geolocation technology and use, would require a user to have to give consent every time the app intends to work with a new ad network. This, they say, would generate awkward consumer notices. The think tank’s behaviors in the past have not indicated that they are adverse to advertising techniques such as pop-ups, which they recently used to state that they were rejecting do-not-track requests.

Foursquare to make changes for the new year

Foursquare makes changesFoursquare aims to expand some of its services

Location-based services are becoming more popular for businesses and consumers. These services offer benefits for both parties: Businesses can use geographic information to formulate better marketing strategies and consumers can be rewarded for their loyalty to a specific company by “checking-in” to a location. Checking-in to locations is a trend that has taken the social media space by storm. Foursquare is one of the pioneers of this service in the social sector, and the platform is now taking steps to streamline its location-based services.

Platform aims to streamline its practice

Foursquare has announced changes to its terms and conditions documents, which will take effect on January 28, 2013. The social media platform is looking to better streamline its services for businesses and consumers. For years, Foursquare has been one of the most prominent names in social media marketing and location-based services, but other social networks have begun to encroach upon the platform’s virtual turf. In an effort to stay relevant with consumers and businesses, Foursquare is taking steps to provide better service.

New policies could be of benefit to businesses

One of the changes being made to the platform’s privacy policy involves the names of its users. Foursquare will begin showing the full name of each user across its entire platform, allowing this information to be seen by anyone. Users can, of course, opt out of having their full name displayed without being faced with any penalties in terms of service. Another change involves the check-in history businesses can see. Traditionally, businesses could only view check-ins over the most recent three-hour period. After the changes go live, however, businesses will be able to keep better track of their traffic.

Foursquare manages to stay ahead of the competition, for now

The changes may help businesses provide better rewards for consumers that check-in frequently, while also allowing these businesses to access information that can be used for marketing campaigns. In 2012, Foursquare reported more than 15 million new users and celebrated the 3 billionth check-in. While several other social networks are pushing new location-based services, Foursquare continues to hold a solid lead over its competitors.