If you want to have a private party, don’t invite your Foursquare-using friends
In the past month or so, I’ve had conversations with two friends who have organised private parties at their homes for small groups of friends. In both cases the hosts created online invitations but sensibly ensured that any date and location information was only visible to invited guests. Yet within minutes of the first guests arriving, they were alarmed to discover that all of their privacy efforts were for naught. Their guests – their friends – had used Foursquare to check in at the party, thus instantly adding their address to the service’s growing database of highly specific locations.
From that point on, a simple search on the Foursquare site for the hosts’ name provides their full home address, along with a handy map for anyone who feels like breaking in and murdering them in their sleep. To make matters even worse, as more partygoers checked in – all caught up in the game element of this thing, and hoping to become mayor of someone else’s living room – the information was repeatedly pushed out via Twitter.
I don’t use Foursquare, and don’t tweet addresses, so feel free to invite me to private events.