Thanks to Paulo for the inspiration of the new more descriptive name for Google Latitude. It’s location sharing, using your phone and best approximation via cell tower triangulation, or the GPS built into your phone. It’s neat in theory, yet a bit clunky and a little bit awkward on my not so fast phone. So now you, too can find out where I am.
With my permission, of course. Although now, it seems less functional and just something to people will have to think about when they’re having extramarital affairs. Although ATM withdrawals and credit card statements are perfectly capable of providing that same information, although not in real time.
It is strange, because signed up for it with nary a thought, and yet I hesitate at the thought of joining Facebook. I guess with Latitude, I could always turn off my phone or sign out. But Facebook seems like a persistent invasion of privacy, even though I know I can set privacy options to hell and back and not ever log in. I talked about this with Lori, briefly, about a possible government subpoena of Google’s records. I had to think about it for a while.
Google already knows who my friends are, what I’m searching for, who I’m talking to, who I’m emailing, when I’m doing these things with which friends, what personal documents I edit, and now, they know where I am.
Besides, if the government wanted my location, they can just get the cell tower info from the telcos anyway. Hell, they may already have it, now that I think about it. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that we gave up our privacy a long time ago.
It’s just that the internet makes the loss more immediately felt, more apparent.
You know, when you get a gazillion spam messages the next day.