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 ;)