Geolocation prompts Facebook privacy revamp

Facebook is amending its privacy policies as it paves the way for the introduction of geolocation services.

Geolocation prompts Facebook privacy revamp

Speaking on the Facebook blog, Michael Richter, Facebook’s deputy general counsel announced that the changes would allow the site to collect location information on users, and share more profile information with partner websites so that “you and your friend can be connected on that website as well”.

However, Richter’s post remains vague on the specifics of the new features, claiming “not all of these products have been finalised and many aren’t yet built at all.”

We’ve got some different ideas (about geolocation services) that we think are even more exciting

“The last time we updated the Privacy Policy, we included language describing a location feature we might build in the future,” Richter wrote. “At that point, we thought the primary use would be to ‘add a location to something you post.’ Now, we’ve got some different ideas that we think are even more exciting.

“So, we’ve removed the old language and, instead added the concept of a ‘place’ that could refer to a Page, such as one for a local restaurant. As we finalise the product, we look forward to providing more details, including new privacy controls,” he concluded.

According to the New York Post, which cites anonymous sources within the company, the new feature will allow users to share real-time location data with friends. Facebook will also offer APIs to third-party websites, allowing them to share their location data with Facebook users.

If these reports prove accurate, the service would put Facebook into direct competition with Google Latitude, which allows users to follow their friends on Google Maps.

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