Facebook’s privacy settings have often caught the ire of users and the media alike, and this latest service offering is only likely to attract even more of it. Facebook’s mobile apps (both Android and iOS) now have a “nearby friends” feature — something that could be very useful, but which could also be quite concerning.
Of course, Facebook has built in granular privacy controls for this new feature, but the biggest hurdle is getting people to actually look at these settings and change them to their preference. Users can turn the feature on and off, control which of their contacts (as long as they’re filtered into groups) can see location presence and even allow the app access to location history which assists Facebook in narrowing a user’s location, even when offline.
Regardless of what you feel about the feature, the control available means you can decide if you want to turn it on or not and from there who has visibility. Much of the outcry online about this feature is the potential for exploit and tracking children who may not be aware of the dangers. As a parent, when the time comes I’ll be speaking to my children about the dangers of putting too much information online and to have an awareness of the “if you put it online, consider it public” thought process.
Do you believe Facebook have gone too far, or are people over reacting to an opt-in feature?