Rumor: Facebook developing app to broadcast your location?

A smartphone app that never turns off will supposedly broadcast your every move

UNCONFIRMED: Facebook is developing location tracking software that will be used to tailor ads

Already suffering from a reputation of taking liberties with users’ personal information, Facebook is said to be doubling down on its data-mining efforts with a new app that, according to Bloomberg, Time and CNET, will track people’s every move through their smartphones. The app is said to be part of a program that will let friends see where their friends are at any given time and also mine the location data in order to tailor advertisements based on people’s daily habits.

Always on

The tracking application will reportedly collect information whether the phone is on or off and whether the app is open or closed. It’s unclear whether the app will have options to opt out or limit the amount of tracking it does, but already headlines about invasions of privacy are surrounding the program.

Tracking apps already exist

Facebook’s app may sound scary, but at least two other tracking applications (not developed by Facebook) already exist. The iPhone app FindMyFriends and the iPhone/Android app Latitude both track users’ whereabouts and broadcast it to selected friends. Where Facebook’s effort appears to be different is in its enormous advertising potential. And given that CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently told investors that the company would be making a strong push toward mobile software, it would seem natural that making money through advertising would be part of that push.

Find Facebook’s privacy policies

 

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