Oh, The Places You’ll Go–and Everyone Will Know

Who. What. When. And Now Where

That’s Facebook’s ad for their new “service” called Places, available on the I-Phone and I-Touch. And they’re saying it like it’s a good thing. Please don’t be naive enough to believe themunless, of course, you want your home broken into, your personal space violated, and your valuable possessions stolen. If that’s the case, then by all means, post as frequently as you can on Places.

But first, allow me to de-construct the hype. Facebook wants you to take part in this latest self-invasion of privacy because it brings them lots of money. The more people they have posting on Places, the more advertisers they can lure and the more they can charge those advertisers. So, keep in mind that telling anyone on the ‘net where you are (and conversely, where you are not, such as your home) at any given moment does not offer any added convenience to your life. It doesn’t make you richer or more good-looking, and it certainly doesn’t make you smarter. What it can make you is a crime victim.

“Share where you are!” Facebook urges you to use Places to tell your friends that you’re at the “Best. Concert. Ever.And if they’re using the program, too, you can post back and forth to one another in real time. Or, you can put your phone away for a while and actually watch the Best. Concert. Ever.

“See exactly where your friends are at any time!” You can find out that Ryan’s at work… Steve’s at the gym… and Denise is having a filling replaced. Seriously, this sort of hot-off-the-presses info couldn’t wait ’til later?

“Find friends who are nearby and get together!” This feature might be vital for anyone who doesn’t have texting, IM, Twitter, email, or a phone. But that eliminates most, if not all, of your friends, and a large portion of the U.S. population.

People complain that we have “too much security” these days–video cameras in public spaces, recording everyday activities. “The government is getting carried away! It’s Big Brother all over again!” But these same folks think nothing about telling the entire internet who they are, where they live, and where they’re going to be at what time. Security cameras aren’t necessary to report their activities and whereabouts–they’re doing it themselves.

So, what can you do? Simply opt out of Places. Follow these step-by-step instructions to disable the program on your I-Phone or I-Touch:

Congratulations! You’ve just taken a big step in arming yourself against robbery, stalking, and other crimes that are made possible when personal information goes public.

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3 Responses to “Oh, The Places You’ll Go–and Everyone Will Know”

  1. Yael Bready says:

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