Tag Archives | Foursquare

What Happens When Social Surveillance Goes Mainstream?

PanopticonMathew Ingram writes on GigaOM:

The 18th-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham came up with an idea for a futuristic prison he called the “Panopticon,” a building with mirrors that would allow everyone to see what their neighbors were doing. Thanks to the growth of social tools like Twitter and Facebook and Foursquare, we now have the ingredients for a digital version of this phenomenon, and some are already using those mirrors for questionable purposes: in addition to creepy apps like “Girls Around Me,” the UK is proposing a law that would allow for monitoring of social media (as well as email and text messaging) without a warrant, U.S. universities admit that they already track what their athletes are saying — and a high-school student was recently expelled for comments he made on his personal Twitter account. At this point, advertisers tracking us online is the least of our problems.

In case you missed the furore, the “Girls Around Me” app has attracted a huge amount of negative attention for plotting the location of women on a mobile app by combining Facebook profile information and Foursquare check-in data.

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Follow The White House On Foursquare

WHFSWant to know where Obama is? The White House has joined foursquare. You can now follow the president as he checks in Lower Hannah’s Bend Park, Seed Saver’s Exchange and, most recently, Northeast Iowa Community College. Via Information Week:

The White House has joined the Foursquare location-based social networking service, a move that shows again the Obama administration’s support of a more transparent and tech-savvy federal government.

Users of the service–which allows people to virtually “check in” to various businesses, landmarks, and other locations around the globe–can now use the White House Foursquare page to follow President Obama as he travels and uses the service to let people know where he is, according to a White House blog post.

They also can themselves check in to the White House if they are visiting the presidential home or attending an Obama town hall event. The White House also has elected to use the tips feature, which can recommend places the president has visited and share what he did while he was there.

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How Robbers Did Their Dirty Deeds Before Foursquare

foursquare logoStan Schroeder writing on Mashable:

There’s a very easy way to find out if someone is home or not: you phone their fixed phone number. If no one answers, chances are the house is empty. If you really want to make sure, you can simply check if the lights are on.

And yes, robbers actually used these tactics to rob people’s house for ages; this is why, ahead of summer vacations, you’ll see advice in magazines to have a friend periodically visit your house, turn the lights on and generally create the impression the house is not abandoned.

Faced with criticism that their service is helping robbers find empty houses, the folks at Foursquare point out that there are other ways of finding out someone’s location: a cleverly designed Twitter or Facebook search will do the trick just as well….

[continues at Mashable]

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