Connect with nearby friends without revealing your location to Big Brother

Screen shot of face2face
Screen shot of face2face

Web services like Foursquare allow users to use their smart phone to "check-in" to stores and other venues as a means of sharing their life and location 24/7. Recently, in addition to sharing where you are, users have been able to earn discounts at stores based on the frequency of their visits. The discounts, and attempts at connecting, have given way to potential privacy concerns and has led one company to look for a better way to connect with nearby friends.

When it comes to privacy concerns, Foursquare users need look no further than Leo Hickman's creepy account in the Guardian titled, "How I became a Foursquare cyberstalker." Using only a smart phone, Hickman was able to track down the most used train station, recent shopping locations, profession and other information about Louise, a woman who had checked in to a location on Foursquare near him. While users can control some of their privacy settings within Foursquare to restrict access, if they are publishing information to a linked Facebook or Twitter account that is unprotected, the information is relatively easy to track down.