Facebook Places Slammed by Privacy Groups

Now that Facebook has unleashed its long-awaited location feature—dubbed “Places”—onto the world, various privacy groups are up in arms, worried that the settings are unnecessarily complex and may lead to users’ personal information being exposed without their consent. “There is no single opt-out to avoid location tracking; users must change several different privacy settings to restore their privacy status quo,” the Electronic Privacy Information Center said in a statement on its website. Privacy issues are nothing new for the social network and indeed, unlike other location-based networks like Gowalla and Foursquare, Facebook Places not only allows users to check themselves into places, but also to check in their friends, which could lead to privacy issues, claimed Yahoo! News. A Facebook spokesperson responded to the accusations, saying: “… only confirmed friends can try to check you in, to tag you, a friend must also check themselves in, you are notified every time someone tries to check you in, and you can easily remove any tag.”