EJM Designs Limited Blog

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Google Latitude: I Know Where You Are

Today cnet scared the heck out of me for a few seconds.
[Google] plans to launch software called Latitude on Wednesday that lets mobile phone users share their location with close contacts. Google hopes it will help people find each other while out and about and to keep track of loved ones.

"What Google Latitude does is allow you to share that location with friends and family members, and likewise be able to see friends and family members' locations," said Steve Lee, product manager for Google Latitude. For example, a girlfriend could use it to see if her boyfriend has arrived at a restaurant and, if not, how far away he is.
Of course, this is an opt-in service. You'll have to sign up and allow people to view your location using cell tower triangulation. If you haven't given much thought to the fact that the government can do this without such an opt-in program: they can.

Realistically, I see this as a good thing, as an extension of some people already remotely tweeting their location with an open invite to join them for lunch or meet up at a Starbucks. Leveraging social media for the in-person parts of your life is the way to make real connections. Face-to-face builds trust and meaningful relationships. It can also give you more of an insight into the type of people you relate with, an insight that cannot come from blog posts or tweets or Facebook status updates.

Of course, this could be another move towards Google's eventual goal of universal domination.

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