Facebook May Soon Be Tracking You At All Times

Description: Facebook already knows who all of your friends are, when you broke up with your last girlfriend/boyfriend and what you did or wish you didn’t do on spring break last year. But if that wasn’t enough, Facebook may soon be tracking you at all times.

Source: Forbes.com

Date: Feb 5, 2013Facebook Tracking

Facebook users have already been voluntarily “Checking-In” to the social networking site to update statuses with a current location. This new app will take this idea into a more extreme direction and remove the voluntary part of the equation. It will be interesting to see what users are OK with Facebook knowing where they are some of the time, but not all of the time. Then there’s similar apps by Apple and Google that track and record user’s locations in order to share with friends.

In an effort to increase its mobile product, while also increasing revenue across all platforms, a Facebook tracking app makes a lot of sense — though it may be better for the social networking site’s advertisers rather than its users. Read Rest of Story 

  Questions for discussion:

1. Facebook is “developing a smartphone application that will track the location of users … even when the program isn’t open on a handset.”   Is this a good thing?  Why or Why Not

2.  How do you feel this will accepted in the marketplace?


19 thoughts on “Facebook May Soon Be Tracking You At All Times

  1. Landon

    There are two major arguments to this innovation. There are those individuals who are going to be completely gung ho about being able to show their friends where they’ve visited and when they were there, but at the same time, who would want to have surveillance on them every second of the day. That is where my eyebrow gets raised. I understand that this new advancement allows for advertising and increased revenues for businesses and Facebook, but really!?

    This is going to be a major moneymaker for businesses, but out goes the window every ounce of privacy individuals used to have. I believe that there should be the option for individuals to select whether or not they want their every move tracked. Similar to what is already in place with Facebook and allowing you to check-in if you so choose to.

    From a business perspective, this is going to be a beautiful thing and will allow businesses to thrive because of loads of increased advertising.

    Besides the fact that all of your friends are going to know your whereabouts anytime of the day, this also leads to issues of those you do not want to know where you are: whether it be criminals or your parents!

  2. Lanre Paulissen

    I’m not a Facebook user and I guess I’m still one of the very few who live in the dark ages. However, on a more a serious note, what Facebook is about to launch is neither new nor novel. In fact, if you have a cell phone in your pocket, whether it’s a smart or a sluggish one, please know that already you’re being tracked. Cell phones companies track where you are, that’s the only way you’re able to communicate on their network anyway. I remember back then when there were no smart phones, the basic Nokia 3310 sends a cell cast of your current location to your phone and accurate traffic details or other news related to your current location depending on what casts you subscribe to.

    Companies are the business of making a profit and Facebook is no exception. The company does not innovate anything that would rake in huge profits so to speak; the bulk of their revenue comes from advertisements. Advertisements are only relevant if they are timely and you getting adverts pushed to you about a sale going on at the Bay when one is around the corner of your present location could be deemed timely. Whether you go into the Bay and now spend your hard earned money is your choice but if you do, both the Bay and Facebook has made money while you are left with a bag of clothes or accessories that you might or might not need. Either way that looks like a win-win situation.

    The question of whether it’s good to be tracked or not is quite difficult to answer in any affirmative sense. Facebook is not tracking for malicious but rather for promotional reasons and that’s the goal of for-profit organizations. About Facebook knowing when and how an individual broke up his/her last relationship is at the individual’s discretion. In my opinion,I feel too many people lay too much information bare on social networking sites. So to the main question, it I don’t think it’s particularly not wrong for Facebook to track locations based on where users’ are currently located in order to push out notifications that could technically be of worth to all the parties involved. As to how it would be accepted in the market place, there would be a divided acceptance based on every indidual’s personal opinion as to what privacy means but remember that you’re always being tracked whether you’re a Facebook user or not. So Facebook launching this application would not make much of a difference.

  3. Abraham Sarthak

    Well it totally depends from person to person , some people might find it useful while some would think it as a breach of their privacy .According to me this is totally unethical as it hinders my privacy , and also what if i do not want to share my location with any of my friends? This is a big question , but this application or technology is already used by the most of the mobile companies they use to track down your location and promote ads which they feel relevant to your location . Well i would think that this application would not be of any use to the facebook users but it would be a great help for companies who want to promote their brand name and their products .So i feel that this application would be popular among companies but not among individuals , as almost every person in this world is connected through facebook in this tech savvy world . May be faccebook wants to earn more revenue than its competitors like google hence they want to launch this app .This application can give facebook huge revenue from the companies who want to sell their brand .In another sense facebook is selling a perrrsons privacy to the cooperate world .

  4. Antonia

    I do not think that this is a good thing. The obvious reason would be the privacy issues. I have people on Facebook that I have not talk to for years and years I don’t need them to know my every move and don’t intend to. Also, you need to be careful of what you disclose on the Internet. I see people “checking in” every day to places that they want people to know about. I think once they do not have a choice on what they disclose that will quickly change. This is a huge advantage for advertising companies they will know exactly what to market certain people. I already see ads all the time on Facebook so the marketing part of this doesn’t bother me, it would be better to see ads that you are interested in rather than random ads that you would normally overlook. I think at first like most new apps it will be accepted just like any other app. As soon as people realize that everyone will know there every move it will not last long. I think parents of teens and younger children will be bothered by this app for safety reasons. A parent won’t want everyone on their child’s Facebook to know their location.

  5. Brandon Yadernuk

    I do not really have anything to hide. But, do I want to be tracked every step of the way? NOPE. I don’t really ever use facebook as it is, but then again I have the app on my iphone for the off chance that I get bored enough to open it. However, I cannot imagine myself keeping the app on my phone once the company starts to go in this direction. The biggest problem I see, except from the obvious invasion of privacy is this. I really do not want to get the huge bill that will be associated with having my data plan running all the time. It really would be money in the bank for Bell. And I imagine that facebook would “allow” companies to send me specific messages about the deals going on in their stores when I am near their location.

    As anything, the idea of being monitored in everything that I do is less than appealing. However, if it is marketed as a way to connect and know when your friends are near… well then this just might take off. It is my hope that the general population would not be open to this form of “big brother” treatment, but I have seen stranger things being accepted by the general population lately. So I guess who really knows.

  6. Ollie Sherwood

    The idea that Facebook is creating a smartphone application that will be able to track all of my movement and know where i am is not a good thing in my eyes. I can understand why they are doing it in terms of the advertising side of the industry however i think that this is now cross the line of violating my personal rights. What if i don’t want them to know where i am and why should they. I haven’t given them my permission to track me and ALL times. If the application is open then I think it is fine because even when you post something now is states your location but when its closed, they should not be able to know where i am.

    I think if this did hit the marketplace in the near future, it would face a lot of critics. The idea that someone will be able to every movement and location is too much. I personally feel that is would not work within the marketplace because of the violation of peoples personal rights. Currently you have a lot of control over what they know about yourself. You can change what is posted and the information on your profile ie name, relationships etc but this would be an aspect that you could not control.

  7. charleschow

    I believe such new adds on could be a convenience or a trouble. It because you never want everyone to know all your tracks based on people love to have privacy time. You might want to go to have a drink and show the location to buddies and not to wives. However, computer intelligence cannot analysis our willing in this moment 100%correctly. Therefore, i do not feel the new add on could have a marketplace. People rather there is nothing than there might cause a problem. It would have a marketplace until the computer intelligence really can 100% understand our minds.

  8. Navreet Dhillon

    Facebook has this service called “checking -in” which essentially allows the users to display where they are BY CHOICE. This is the most important point which makes Facebook and other social networking sites popular to the masses: they allow you to be as secretive or as open- booked as possible! At the end it is your decision how much private information you wish to disclose. By taking this choice away from the user, Facebook is invading their private space and breaking that invisible wall. I am sure many Facebook users might find this to be a nuisance as they don’t want Facebook to act like their controlling parent or lover!

    One more factor that should not overlooked is that this service can facilitate cyber crime! If the criminals and other mentally disturbed people who wish to do bad things to people happen to get their hands on the whereabouts of their potential victim, it just makes the crime so much easier. I bet stalkers would love this application! I don’t think that this can be made a reality because a lot of people would object to it. As far as they people who have already given Facebook the right to stalk them, they probably have no idea what they are getting themselves into.

  9. Dallon Martin

    I feel that the idea of this facebook app that will be able to track and follow you at all times, is a bit to much. I know that its a great idea for advertising and you will be able to advertise in the exact moment necessary. My feelings are that it is a great idea but people need their privacy. Having your friends or even anyone know where you are at all times is to much. People need alone time, where they dont have to worry about someone looking over there shoulder saying “oh hey, i know what you did and where you went last night”.
    I the market place i feel that there will be a split of people that love it and also people that dont want anything to do with it. Some people will love the idea of having advertising right there in the moment. where others will want there privacy. Business will love it regardless, if they use it or not, because it will help out business and get more advertising out.
    If Facebook implements this app for all users it think that they will lose a large number of users.

  10. Kristian

    Facebook is not first to market when tracking users locations. With the connected world today, from cell phone carriers to wifi hotspots it may be a little naive to think that before the release of this application that the world didn’t know where we are already. For me personally, I do not have a problem with Facebook implementing this strategy. I’ve accepted the fact that technology is bigger than us all, and we have no choice but to embrace it. Most location setting now have improved my efficiency and effectiveness, so I would have to think that Facebook’s would do the same thing. Just the information alone Facebook can deprive from my profile can guide me to places, people, or opportunities that before this app, I may have never known about. It is in large part the responsibility of the users of Facebook. We all know the power that social media has on such things from potential career possibilities to online shopping, both having a positive and a negative aspect. If users of Facebook however post things only in their best interest, than the privacy concern really shouldn’t be an issues. Facebook does not dig up dirt on you, but instead releases what the user has previously posted.

  11. Colin

    The reality is that Facebook is simply following the trend of the market. Their main revenue source is via advertising. It is not a very large stretch for Facebook to utilize this app to further target its users with real time advertising while they are out and about in the world. As technology becomes more an integrated part of our everyday life there will be examples of companies trying to cash in on people’s movements especially when it comes to consumer activities. I believe there may be some resistance to such an invasion of privacy, but the concept of privacy is being forever altered. A person cannot go anywhere without leaving some kind of digital trail. Whenever you are caught on camera, or you utilize a debit/credit card there is already a record of your location. There are some serious issues regarding the ethical use of this information, but Facebook will most likely use your location as a revenue stream for advertisers. This is extremely valuable information and if Facebook does not capitalize on it, surely another company will. It is already possible for triangulation of location using a cell phone even when the device is off. When you utilize a service such as Facebook, you are accepting certain liberties with your information. Facebook using an app to passively track your location is just an extension of what is already happening. Ethical or not, it is the reality of a technology driven world.

  12. Katie Guccione

    I do not that think that the tracking app, that will be working 24 hours a day even if you do not have facebook open, is a good idea. I think that this is an incredible invasion of privacy and I think that it will cause problems. We have all been taught from a young age that by being very involved with technology comes with risks because you do not know who can get access to your information at all times. For this constant tracker to be on and have the power to notify people on facebook of your whereabouts is not only an invasion of privacy but it is also a hazard. Although the chances of having someone follow you on facebook without your consent is low, due to the high security settings, but it is still possible for someone whom you do not wish to have that power to now where you are. I think that by having this app you are opening up another large issue that is already hard enough to control, and that is keeping peoples lives as private as possible while still being connected to the world wide web. The app should not be on 24/7 it should be able to be turned on or off or just declined in general. Tracking a person via facebook is wrong and it should not be allowed.

  13. Brogan

    I personally don’t like the idea of this new app. I can see advantages for it, such as, when you are walking down a street you might get an ad for a suggested restaurant nearby, which you may want to try. I can also see many negatives associated with this app related to privacy. I don’t want my life to constantly monitored and bombarded with computer generated suggestions based on my chat conversations, google, searches, or location. I can imagine many people have the same concerns as I do, however, just like when the suggested ads/products were introduced to Facebook I simply ignore them. I don’t think the Facebook market will accept this comfortably initially, but just like any other part of Facebook, we all just get used to it.

  14. YWesley

    I have to ask myself, will I be able to walk away from Facebook when they start tracking my location at all times during any given 24 time span and continual until I die or Facebook dies? Just recently, I noticed my on-line friends have moved from a “green dot” to a cellphone symbol. Which means they are access their Facebook, on their mobile devices. Therefore, when this 24-hour tracking application starts in mid-March, the digits of 0 and 1 will give access to our locations. That to me could be a positive, like that of a worried parent wondering where their child is. Moreover, negative for the cheating spouse. A recent on-line chat with a friend, on Facebook, we were talking about a seven-day body cleanser and where to shop for them and best brands to use. Shortly, there after there were advertisements on this topic and related pages I might like in my “Ads and Sponsored Stories You May Like” section of my homepage. I say the progression to the ultimate assimilation of no more privacy has already happened. By being part to Facebook, we have agreed to this. Only be deactivating or eliminating our digital footprint will we be free but that would mean giving up our social contacts. Weighting the pros and cons are still lingering within me. I hope that I will have made that decision before the launch of this new 24-hour tracking application.

  15. Mohadese

    The developing of the smartphone application that tracks users will increase more income for Facebook and companies, which have apps in Facebook. Facebook has a different trend from the past and has lots of advertising. Facebook has run a survey for a new service that it wants to run. Then based on the results of survey, forces all its members to use the new service without further permission. The members of Facebook need to have an option to use the new service or not. Any company needs to consider their customers’ needs, preference, and most importantly privacy. The new service from Facebook has advantages and disadvantages for users. For example, if I were to travel to a place that I have never been, the app would help me to find some attraction or more information about the place. The app would be beneficial for many people but at the same time, they need to have an option to use this app or not without being tracked by Facebook at all Times. If Facebook does not consider the privacy of its users, it would have many legal and ethical problems, which cost a significant amount of money as a penalty. In addition, it would lose many of its members, who disagree to be tracking all times by Facebook.

  16. ibrahim.akinola

    The new application Facebook is developing can be a good thing and also be bad, but I think it is a good idea for Facebook to develop an application that tracks your location based on whether the consumer wants to activate it or not; but I also feel it is a bad idea for Facebook taking the application a step further by making the software run even when you close it on your smartphone. Hence in conclusion I believe that it is a bad idea, this is because some individuals care about privacy concerns and do not want to broadcast their location to others especially when they are far away from home.
    Based on the location information displayed by the Facebook application without the users permission can lead to unauthorized users making use of the information for their own personal gains. I feel the marketplace will not accept the software nicely because most consumers do not want others to find out or know about every step or move they make; as this can attract armed robbers because they are able to develop a daily patterns on the consumer.
    Based on this information I think it is a bad idea for Facebook to bring this application into the marketplace because the disadvantages are greater than the advantages.

  17. Josh

    This comment is coming from someone who does not use Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or any other online social networking site. I never have, and probably never will, and there are several reasons why. One is that I waste enough time already, without having to update my status or check up on everyone else’s. Another is that I have been getting along fine my whole life without one and there is no reason that I need to join now. Another, and probable the most important reason, is that I greatly value my personal privacy, and there is absolutely no privacy when it comes to anything one puts on the internet about themselves. Even a so-called “privacy policy” means nothing in preserving privacy, but rather, how the company will use private information. In evidence of the rampant apathy and ignorance inbred into our society, most people will carelessly continue to accept such invasions of privacy with the false sense of security and trust that organization like Facebook are looking out for their best interests, and would never be a part of anything selfish or unethical. There will inevitably be a few that disagree with the implementation of such applications, and some that might even fight against it – these types will be largely viewed as paranoid conspiracy theorists. The vast majority will not care.
    I think that people should be allowed to install and use whatever kind of computer applications they want, and that they take upon themselves the benefits and harms of doing so. I also think that program developers should be allowed to create whatever kind of applications they desire, so long as they do not break the law, purposefully withhold truths about the functions of their products, or set out to deceive or harm their customers. The one thing that bothers me is the fact that so many people ignorantly surrender their rights little by little – the willing loss of privacy through technology is a significant example of this.

  18. Marc

    1. The problem with privacy discussions (as is true for many political discussions) is that we haven’t phrased the question in a way that can be resolved, and that privacy is a social construct we’ve invented. The idea of a company tracking your every move is creepy, but cellular service companies, credit card companies, and governments (domestic and foreign) have been able to do this for years with ‘persons of interest,’ however they define that. Is it a good thing that Facebook is working on this, as a computer scientist, I think it’s pretty cool technology, but as a Facebook user, I won’t be installing that app.
    2. For the sake of discussion, let’s separate the marketplace on two axis: people that understand it and people that install and enable the app. There will be a small group of people that both understand and enable the app, especially when they become ‘victims’ of the location-targeted advertisements. The article mentions Google’s and Apple’s similar services. How many people have used Google Latitudes or Find My Friends? Really cool technology, but very low adoption.

    1. Landon

      There are two major arguments to this innovation. There are those individuals who are going to be completely gung ho about being able to show their friends where they’ve visited and when they were there, but at the same time, who would want to have surveillance on them every second of the day. That is where my eyebrow gets raised. I understand that this new advancement allows for advertising and increased revenues for businesses and Facebook, but really!?

      This is going to be a major moneymaker for businesses, but out goes the window every ounce of privacy individuals used to have. I believe that there should be the option for individuals to select whether or not they want their every move tracked. Similar to what is already in place with Facebook and allowing you to check-in if you so choose to.

      From a business perspective, this is going to be a beautiful thing and will allow businesses to thrive because of loads of increased advertising.

      Besides the fact that all of your friends are going to know your whereabouts anytime of the day, this also leads to issues of those you do not want to know where you are: whether it be criminals or your parents!


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