Facebook will enable geolocation -- will you expose yourself?
Facebook, with 400 million users and a wealth of sensitive and contextual information, will make previous attempts at utilizing your location look like child's play. Not only will this impact you as a user of the busiest site on the Internet, but games are about to be turned on their head: if you thought Foursquare was cool, you really have seen nothing yet. There were hints that Facebook would be enabling geolocation in November, and I guarantee that casual games companies like Zynga are wetting their pants in anticipation. Imagine how social gaming could soon become with a geolocation-enabled Facebook: when you visit your friend's house, their FarmVille farm could pop up on your smartphone. How about a healthy version of the game that rewards you for tending to your farm while walking around outside?
Of course, with greater functionality comes wide-ranging risks. We've already seen the potential pitfalls of exposing your location on Foursquare -- won't the 400 million users of Facebook merely exacerbate the issue? Won't the term 'Facebook stalking' take on a whole new meaning when someone actually knows where you are?
I bet there's a large percentage of Facebook users that haven't configured their privacy settings. What if you tell your boyfriend or girlfriend that you're out with friends, but the geolocation data of an uploaded photo gives away your true location? Worse, can you imagine your mother checking up on you?
I know social networking is all about exposing information about ourselves, but most of the time we are aware of the data we're exposing. Be careful, and make sure you know what you're publishing.