Saturday, January 15, 2011

Are there privacy concerns about sharing your location on Foursquare?

I was interviewed about Foursquare, by 'Paula Ebben' of WBZ-TV, this week at Turner Fisheries, courtesy of 451 Marketing.

The Foursquare report is scheduled to air on WBZ-TV, aka CBS Boston, during the 11 PM News on 1/17.

Steve Garfield and Chris Allen at Turner Fisheries

Joselin Mane arranged the interview and let me bring a +1. Coincidentally Chris Allen of infared5 asked me if I wanted to go out for lunch that day, so I asked if he wanted to come along. He did and we had a great time. Next time I will try the Salade Ni├žoise.

In the interview I was asked, "Are there privacy concerns about sharing your location on Foursquare?"

Of course I said "No", and that you can set up Foursquare to only share your location with people who you have accepted as friends.

You have total control over how your information is shared.

Foursquare has a nice page explaining it all called Privacy 101.

Here are some highlights:
Foursquare Friends
To view another user’s check-in information, you need to add them as a friend (and they need to accept your invitation), or you need to accept a friend invitation from them. (Our friending model is similar to Facebook’s “friends” rather than Twitter’s “followers”). Only your foursquare friends can see your feed of individual check-ins.

"Off the Grid"
Sometimes you’ll want to check in without sharing your specific whereabouts with friends. This is why we created “off the grid” check-ins -- a way of adding places to your check-in history, earning points and adding to your mayor and badge counts, while maintaining completely privacy (even from friends). We find this comes in handy on dates, dinners with parents, or at a coffee shop when you’re just trying to get some work done - really anywhere where you don’t want to friends to drop in. To check-in “off the grid”, simply select “No” on the “Share this check-in with friends” option seen on every “check-in” screen across our mobile apps.
How do you handle Foursquare privacy issues?

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