Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) is already one of the kings of Big Data among tech companies, alongside Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). These companies make a lot of money with the information they compile about users – personal information, preferences, habits, “likes,” buying preferences and other factors that activate advertisers and marketers.
These companies have so much Big Data, would they really need more? At the very least, Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) has already been involved in several privacy disputes with users in various countries – mainly in Europe – so it seems interesting that talk is swirling over a new location-tracking app being released by Facebook.
This new app, which is as yet unnamed, is due to launch in March, and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) says it is designed to help users to know where friends are located if they are nearby. It is reported to be something similar to Foursquare, Find Your Friends by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) or Latitude by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). The idea is that the mobile app would track your location and would run in the background – even if it hadn’t been opened – and share your location with any of your friends who are in the vicinity. There is no word about how specfic the tracking would be; a user’s location may be just compared to those in the Facebook Places database.
While there may be some benefit to this – those who post repeatedly on Facebook to try to find friends in the area, this reduces that need – there may be some concerns from privacy groups and perhaps some businesses. Could you imagine getting advertising on your phone about your favorite lunch place because he app tracks that you go there nearly every day? Do you find this new Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) app too invasive of privacy, or do you see some benefit for Facebook and businesses that outweigh those concerns? Let us know in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.
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