Data Privacy Day is held every January to increase awareness of privacy issues in our everyday lives. This year, the focus is on new services that track where we are and then can share our location with friends or with the public. Services that use this kind of location tracking bring up new issues that are now referred to as “locational privacy.” Facebook Places, Foursquare, Twitter, are among those who offer this service.
In a post on the “Microsoft on the Issues” blog, Brendon Lynch, Chief Privacy Officer at Microsoft explains:
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in new technologies and services that track, analyze, and share our movements. With more and more people connecting to the Internet through mobile devices and GPS, as well as the surging popularity of location-aware services, we’ve seen increasing privacy concerns related to such technologies and services. These services are innovative and clearly beneficial, but people need to understand the privacy implications when they “check in” to their favorite places.
To start protecting your locational privacy, check the settings on your smart phone that use your location and adjust them to a level of security that’s right for you. For more guidance, download the Location Based Services Fact Sheet for Consumers (XPS) or Location Based Services Fact Sheet for Consumers (PDF).