Foursquare changes privacy policy, but it shouldn't cause a ruckus

Foursquare changes privacy policy, but it shouldn't cause a ruckus
Foursquare is changing its privacy policy on January 28th, 2013, according to an email that has been sent out to members. The main change is that members will now see complete first and last names on the profile page and over the whole service. According to Foursquare, this is done because its growth has made the use of both full names and abbreviations confusing to members. The abbreviations might have worked in its earlier days, but now the membership numbers are too large for members to keep track of  who is using full names,and who is using abbreviations. This year, Foursquare has seen its 3 billionth check-in (yes, that is with a "b" folks) and has added 15 million members to total almost 30 million. It also added reviews and local information.

Ok, so far this might not be enough to cause an Instagram-style revolt.  Foursquare is also going to send businesses an expanded list of users that have checked into a store or restaurant. At present,businesses can view the previous three-hours of check-ins at a location. But since many business just look at their Foursquare check-ins at the end of the day, a list containing more than the last 3 hours worth of check-ins will be made available.

To prevent this from blowing up in its face, Foursquare itself is telling members how they can get around the new policy. First of all, full names different from the user's real name can be used, and by going to "Privacy Settings" and then "Location Information," users can opt out of businesses seeing their check-ins.

Foursquare has also provided what they are calling Privacy 101, which is a version of the new policy without the legalese that confuses everyone but the lawyers. You can view the new policy in simple to read language by clicking on the sourcelink.


source: Foursquare via PCMag, TechCrunch

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