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Nov. 2 2009 - 11:34 am | 54 views | 1 recommendation | 3 comments

If you want to have a private party, don’t invite your Foursquare-using friends

Image representing Foursquare as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

From TechCrunch:

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.

via NSFW: Halloween in San Francisco and the gathering clouds of a location-based privacy storm .

I don’t use Foursquare, and don’t tweet addresses, so feel free to invite me to private events.


One T/S Member Comment Called Out, 3 Total Comments
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  1. collapse expand

    I don’t think this is so much a technology issue as it is an etiquette issue. Or am I too naive in thinking that my friends would simply respect my privacy?

    • collapse expand

      Sounds like an accident- by agreeing to reveal your location, and agreeing to attend, you reveal where you’re attending. Interesting idea that your location privacy isn’t just up to you, but the people you’re with.
      Should the default privacy be set to the most restrictive level of anyone in your group? This is an interesting idea for all SNAs.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    Matthew Matthew Matthew.
    Please look into the secret office spycam and repeat after me: Vanity trumps privacy.

    PS: Nice shirt.

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    I am a writer, reporter, editor and blogger. I'm an editor at Above The Law, where I blog about lawyers, judges, law firms and the legal industry. Here at True/Slant, I write about our changing notions of privacy.

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