Google Latitude originally launched as just another service to let friends and family know your physical location. Only a select group could actually see your updates. Well, it seems many users felt that this left too much work for their stalkers to do. They wanted to be able to share their exact location not only with their contacts on Latitude, but with anyone on the Internet. Now, Google has granted their wishes with two new Latitude features.
Google Talk Location Status
Now, every time you update your location with Google Latitude, your Google Talk status will be updated with you current city. To enable this feature, simply visit the Google Talk Location Status page. Even if you have set your privacy settings in Latitude so that certain people can’t see your location, they will obviously now be able to see where you are via your status message. Setting a custom status message will disable the automatic updates.
One thing I found interesting is that Google talks about your chat client saving a history of your status messages and directs you to the help center for information on how to remove the history. I guess having a history of your whereabouts saved in an IM client somewhere could end up being a serious privacy issue, as if broadcasting your location to the world wasn’t enough.
Google Public Location Badge
Since your Google Talk status isn’t really visible enough, we have a second option of putting a location badge on your blog or website. This lets anyone and everyone see where you are at any given time. Not only will you have access to the code which makes your current location available to the world, but anyone and everyone can get the code and post your location anywhere they please.
Don’t get me wrong, I think the technology is great, but with great power comes great responsibility. Be careful what you do with this stuff. Unless you really want the world to know where you are physically located at any given time, I wouldn’t activate either of these features.Category: News, Trends, web 2.0 | Tags: brightkite, geolocation, google, google latitude, loopt