Location, location, location

April 18, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

I just read about yet another location-based service. This one is called Glympse, and it looks very cool. The privacy issues with location=-based services are so blatant and manifold. What is also clear is that users are concerned about their privacy, and so Glympse goes to great lengths to assure us that we have nothing to worry about.

The way it works is that you send a “glympse” to someone, or a group of people, or all of your Facebook friends. They receive a link. When they click on that link, they can see a map with your location on it. If you are moving, they can see that too. If two people send each other glympses on their phones, then I guess they should be able to walk in each other’s direction until they find each other.

The people at Glympse have built privacy into this app in a number of ways. One is that you can define how long you want to be visible to system for. The default is 15 minutes; the maximum is 4 hours. Another is that you decide who can see your location.

I think this is an example of how a company is showing awareness of the privacy needs or wishes of its potential end users, and is designing privacy into what is clearly a privacy-threatening application.