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Geolocation

  1. Is Social Media Compromising the Security of Your Home? [Infographic]

    When geolocation services started becoming more and more commonplace on social media sites, some commented that announcing your location was simply an invitation to burglary. While that may seem like an alarmist's response, perhaps it's not so far-fetched after all. Following the logic that it takes a thief to catch a thief, Credit Sesame -- the creators of the infographic -- turned to a study of former UK burglars. An overwhelming majority of them said that they not only use Google street view to stake out a mark before attempting a robbery, and that they checked social networking sites to see if the owners were home. That should certainly give you pause the next time you think about checking in to FourSquare. See the whole thing, with more surprising statistics, after the break.

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  2. Never Alone: Trick Shows Any Photo in Color App, Anywhere

    With some dead-simple geolocation trickery, users can see any photos being uploaded with the Color photo sharing app without leaving the comfort of their own home. Chris Wysopal, the chief technology officer with Veracode, announced via Twitter that he had discovered the issue last Thrusday. Here's how it works: Color bills itself as a social photo app, allowing users to see photos being taken by those around them thanks to the GPS data it pulls from the phone. By setting the phone's location data to another position, a user can view the photos being uploaded around a different location. Using an app called FakeLocation installed on an jailbroken iPad, Wysopal changed his tablet's perceived location and then fired up Color. Without a hitch, the photostreams from far away areas loaded up.

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  3. Facebook Places Launches Today

    Facebook Places was announced in March, a geolocation-based answer to Foursquare, and today it officially launches. An updated Facebook iPhone app (TechCrunch has some helpful screenshots) went up for download last night, and users are already reporting the ability to broadcast their location to everyone they know as Facebook cautiously rolls out the "check-in" ability so as not to overload their servers. Of course, if you don't own an iPhone and live in America you're out of luck. (Or in luck?) Places is currently only available in the US, and Android and Windows Phone apps, while promised, are not available yet.

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  4. Foursquare Users Worried About Privacy, Continue Providing Locations to Potential Stalkers

    "Investigative reporting" or creeping, you decide: To show Guardian reporter Leo Hickman was able to track down a woman selected at random with her Foursquare account, recent tweets, and personal details acquired from Google searches, including a photo. Needless to say, Louise was quite "unnerved" when a reporter showed up at the central London pub she was in.

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  5. The Fine Print: Apple Can Tell Third Parties Where You Are, and That’s Fine

    Remember that time yesterday when we were telling you all about downloading iOS4 and all the new features it comes with? Well here's a little thing we forgot to mention, because, well, nobody knew at the time: The new license agreement you "signed" when you downloaded the new OS permits Apple to get your geolocation data and share it with companies. Oh man, BWOOOP, BWOOOP, security alert. Everybody panic! All the evil corporations know exactly where you are and are going to make you disappear if you upset them. Well, no, they don't know who you are, but they know someone is there! That's gotta be bad, right? Not really.

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  6. Geolocation May Be Coming Soon to a Facebook Status Update Near You

    The web privacy whistleblowers at Please Rob Me must be having a field day: Facebook may be rolling out a geolocation-based tool for status updates some time in the next month, the New York Times' Bits Blog reports.

    Last November, Facebook stealthily updated their privacy policy to address the possibility that they just might roll out an in-house geolocation service -- you can currently tie location to Facebook only via third-party services like Foursquare's -- and it looks like the rubber is hitting the road.

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  7. Please Rob Me: Using Your Foursquare to Give Thieves the Green Light

    We've been meaning to mention Please Rob Me, the site that aggregates publicly available, geolocated Twitter messages of the "I am at X bar" variety, as passed on by Google Buzz and Foursquare, uses them to determine who is and isn't at their homes, and passes on all of the empty house "opportunities" that are ripe for the robbing. Well: Please Rob Me exists, and it is scary:

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  8. Facebook’s “Foursquare Killer:” Now Mom Will Know Exactly When You’re Getting Wasted

    With the recent launch of Twitter's Geolocation API, every social startup worth its rackspace has been moving in the direction of locational applications. Now, Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider seems to have inside confirmation that Facebook is working on adding capabilities for "checking into" to physical locations through its mobile service. Will parents soon know every time a college freshman hits up a frat party? Will your boss question your frequent trips to the free clinic? Will your significant other notice your repeated, um, "visits" to their best friend's apartment?

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