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Facebook quietly unveils 'stalking app'

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posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 12:22 PM
The title is misleading I know, but it's directly from the CNN article.

CNN) -- Facebook appears to have quietly unveiled a new feature designed to let people see which Facebook users are nearby at any given time.

The company calls the feature "Find Friends Nearby," and on Monday it was available through Facebook's mobile apps and website despite the fact that it hasn't been formally announced. The blog ReadWriteWeb already has dubbed the feature a "stalking app" because it could open people up to potentially awkward or threatening interactions with strangers on the social network who know you're nearby.

To test out the feature, go to in a browser, or follow this path in the Facebook's mobile apps: menu > apps > find friends > other tools > Find Friends Nearby.

It appears that Facebook users must opt in to the feature by going to that site, otherwise their profiles will not appear in a list of people who are nearby.


This is dangerous IMO, the Gizmodo review has my thoughts pretty well summed up.

The site Gizmodo finds the new feature to be potentially useful -- and dangerous.

"You meet a cute somebody at a concert, you're like, 'Hey, we should be Facebook friends,' and they're like 'OMG, totes!' Then rather than having to spell your names and search around, you've got a much smaller group of people to choose from. I guess that's great, right?" Brent Rose writes on that tech news site.

I mean, we have IM these days, text and all kinds of other means to get in touch with each other, and personally I cringe at the thought of my location showing up on Google Maps or whatever for everybody in my social circle to see.

Just seems like far too much information is being sent via the airwaves about ourselves.

Thoughts ATS?


edit on 6/25/2012 by tothetenthpower because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 12:29 PM
Scary stuff. And what's even scarier is that the majority of folks will never consider the darker implications.

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 12:31 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

Unfortunately, we've asked for it.

We continue to use/abuse social media. We do not read the small print (opt in/opt out), then we complain about the technology being oppressive in scope, yet we have to remember that we gave the technology this power by using it without understanding it.

Humanity wants to be connected while still being anonymous... ironic, eh?

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 12:32 PM
Thanks for bringing this to the attention of all, I for one will not activate this tracking tool, seems like in the name of convienence we have thrown personal privacy out the window. Although it would be nice to know when your friends are kicking about I feel a simple hey whats up will continue to do just fine for me.


posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 12:33 PM
reply to post by Dreine

Apathy breeds the removal of freedoms. An interesting reply and certainly one that makes you think.

I think you are completely right, our on going obsession with ease of access of information along with more and more featuers for social networking will no doubt bring these things into the public foray.


posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 12:34 PM
It doesnt work

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 12:35 PM
One of many and now kids have a need to be taught awareness by parents who may not even be aware of the newer technological dangers...

Social app Skout suspends teen community after rape allegations

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 12:37 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower


For all everyone, including we users of ATS, gripe about our privacy, we sure do one hell of a job putting all of our daily activities out there for all to see. There is no need for an overt/covert program to spy on someone... they are doing it for FREE to themselves.

I work in a cyber field. I try to make my family and friends aware of the perils of the Internet, cell phones, and social media. The amount of ignorance about exactly how much of your 'private' information is out there and readily available to anyone with time and an internet connection is astounding.

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 12:40 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

not a week goes by when i'm not approached by somebody wanting to hack a FB account
it's always some BS story

always turns out to be jealous BF/GF spying on partner or trying to F up a rivals Accnt

so the answer is always "no, i do not hack FB! "

stalking app indeed
at least those A-holes will leave me alone now
edit on 25-6-2012 by DerepentLEstranger because: by not buy

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 12:41 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

Doesn't facebook do this automatically anyways.
My phone buzzes whenever I have a friend close by to me visiting a restaurant within a few miles of me.

But now it's an app?

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 01:02 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

Well for this to work you'd have to do the following:

Opt into the service
Use the facebook "checkin" system
enable tracking and geolocation data via your mobile device.

Now, Don't get me wrong, it's only a matter of a few updates before facebook accidentally opts everyone into this, by accident of course...

But there is no reasonable way a person could accidentally have this thrust upon them.

You can only be stalked on facebook if you all yourself to be. This appears to be to be just facebook trying to merge other third party stuff under their umbrella.

they bought instragram. Now it appears they want to implement a 4square type system. Heck, My phone even without facebook, has similar stuff installed, but disabled. I can even setup locational aware sharing and such.

some of it is pretty neat, but if you are one of those idiots you clicks YES to everything, well, good luck with that.

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 01:24 PM
reply to post by phishyblankwaters

Yeah, problem with idiot proof systems is mostly there are more idiots than there are proofs against them

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 01:37 PM
The electronic handcuff at it's best.

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 02:06 PM
Wow, I knew there was a reason I never wanted FB. That is straight out scary. Who the hell wants this sort of thing? What sick minded freak thinks this is a good idea? Talk about just handing over your live to someone else, this is way nuttier than I thought would happen.

Screw FB I will never have it or any of the other privacy invading medias with my name on it.


posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 10:45 PM
Wow I cannot believe that this a feature now, especially with all the flack Skout suspended their teen community after rape allegations earlier this month.

Things like this app are the reason that the world is becoming more dangerous. Twenty years ago, you went out to bars, clubs, lodges, and on vacation to meet cool, new people. These days, with a click of a button, humanity is at your fingertips, and that is certain if you know what you're doing at that desk of yours.

Starred and Flagged. This is something we need to know about!
edit on 6/25/2012 by CHIEF23 because: (no reason given)

edit on 6/26/2012 by CHIEF23 because: grammatical error

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 11:00 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

I dont like this app one bit...........

Case in point ?

Predators. Many children use Facebook. Many Teenagers have Phones.Just another app that can be used to hurt children. MHO

Heres Apples version.....

edit on 25-6-2012 by sonnny1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 25 2012 @ 11:03 PM
While I think a lot of adults will not enable this app,
I am concerned that young people will. It is
dangerous and I hope this info gets around so
parents can talk with their kids about it.

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