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back to article Facebook Places 'sparks interest in similar services'

Alternative location service echoecho reckons Facebook Places is driving up interest in the subject, to the good of the whole industry and, in particular, echoecho. Apparently downloads of the echoecho client have multiplied by ten since Facebook Places was announced, which the company attributes to offering much the same …

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Stop

Spam!

The first nuisance text I get imploring me to try it will generate a report to the ICO, and a very nasty conversation with whoever was responsible for handing my number over in the first place.

I dont want to be tracked and monitored by some vultures seeking to make money in effect by using my phone for their commercial ends, as for the "try it out" message.... Its spam pure and simple, and as it is sent to a non customer for a commercial purpose I would expect some protections under the Privacy in Communications regs. I really am sick of all these "solutions" to a problem that for many of us doesnt exist.

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Happy

@Da Weezil

the service is not about making money from your phone number.

First and foremost the service is free.

Second of all we don't keep any logs of your past location sharing with friends (as Bill pointed out in the article)

However the most important point is where Bill says we plan to charge for access to the API for companies to request "location of their customers". Key word THEIR customers.

If your Bank wants to send you an echo to verify a transaction someone has made with your card (for fraud prevention) then you would have to

(a) sign up for this sort of notifcation with your bank

(b) accept the echo (i.e. without clicking "Reply" on an echo that looks something like this - http://echoechome.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/autoecho_fullsize.png - the bank will know nothing of your location

This sort of double opt in is extremely user friendly. Our whole idea is to protect customers.

As for "solutions" to a problem that doesn't exist...funny ;)

That's precisely what we think of being able to declare yourself mayor of your local starbucks and sending that message to 5000 facebook friends...

A very simple and fast "Where are You?" service with no privacy issues whatsoever is a REAL problem for most people.

Are you saying that you have NEVER sent a text message that says "where are you" or uttered the sentence during a phone. If that's true - I'll send you a cookie ;)

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Location whores

Another quality subhead - although now I have a very short snippet of that song stuck in my head.

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Welcome

the only thing that scares me

about this emerging technology is the possibility that one's bosses may require such software to be installed on your phone and set up to automatically respond to your bosses phone, so they can check up on you.

it's not immediately harmful in the scenario I described, but things of this nature rarely stop after the first hurdle.

anyone remember when googling your own name didn't bring up 10 pages of your social network accounts, something you said to someone else the day before, your favourite food and a few pictures of you and your family and friends for good measure?

I imagine the next step would be all of the above, plus where you are right now to a 6 figure grid reference.

welcome mat because *someone* assumed we put it there

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Anonymous Coward

Re: anyone remember when googling your own name

still doesn't - one advantage of having same name as someone famous and departed.

Not using the likes of faceook also seems to help ;)

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re: anon

lucky bugger.

I have a *fairly* uncommon name and AFAIK theres only one me on FB...

maybe I should change it to john smith.

admittedly 10 pages of results for your name in most cases is an exaggeration

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Pint

oops....

..sorry MR. Boosman I left my phone in my desk. I know my phone said I was in the office but hey technology sometimes fails. I will do my very best not to do it again.

Beer because we all know that's what you were consuming away from your office.

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Thumb Up

just to clarify one thing...

I am the Nick that's quoted in article...so I thought I'd say thanks here and add a touch more detail...

Bill says..."The bank could ping the customer, discover that they (or their phone) are at the same location as the retailer and therefore approve the purchase: all without paying a human to make the call."

And Bill's right. However it seems that some people think this is a serious spam issue.

So for the record - I hate spam with a passion.

echoecho was built from the ground up to be permission based and to capture minimal data on our customers. When you signup to echoecho (on anything other than an iphone) we don't even capture your name. As Bill said - no logs are kept. We exist to facilitate the asking and answering of the question "where are you"

Now how would this work in a B2C context (e.g. the bank example that Bill mentioned) - well first of all you'd have to sign up for this service with (for example) Barclays. (opt in number 1)

Second of all - even if you are signed up with Barclays - you'll still get an echo from Barclays that looks something like this - http://echoechome.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/echoecho1.jpg (opt in number 2)

so yeah I'd say we're pretty good as far as privacy in communication goes ;)

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Gold badge

Already done in some industries

@serviceWithASmile, in trucking at least some trucks (here in the States) already have tattlers installed. Others refuse. Quite simply, if a boss wanted me to do this 1) I'm not installing anything extra on MY phone, the company is not paying for it after all. 2) I'd refuse a company phone. In case you think that's unprecedented, the place I worked last year my boss DID refuse a company phone (because they expected him to do paperwork for any and all calls, and in the position he was in he was going to be getting dozens of calls a day from all kinds of random people. He pointed out a unlimited plan would save money and he wouldn't have any reason to track calls, they said "no". So he said "no" to the phone.)

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How to control your privacy

Not all of us want to continually broadcast all of our location details, having to change settings each time depending on how much/little we wish to display is not practical. However research from the UK may be the answer : http://onehandshake.blogspot.com/2010/08/wheres-wally.html

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