Facebook Places launches in the US (and privacy concerns ensue)

Facebook is launching their new location service, Facebook Places today amid the inevitable privacy concerns. Places works in a similar way to Foursquare and Gowalla, with users checking-in to locations which are then shared with their friends. At this stage it’s not clear whether when Check-In offers will be available for discounts and free stuff from brands. A Facebook spokesperson claimed that they were not infringing privacy and said: “We equate it with this existing mechanism where your friends can tag in photos – the control is that you are always notified and can remove those tags at any time”. Fine, except that users have been continually confused and frustrated by their privacy settings. I have previously argued that social media sites have a greater responsibility to make their users aware of the potential privacy issues. It is something Foursquare seems to be taking in hand and perhaps showing a few lessons to the bigger boys of social media?

Guardian Media report here