Important interviews with Sarah J. Gim and Paige Craig illustrate the specific types of scams that can happen.
I have a great interest in Geolocation platforms and have been striving to use them safely. As a Social Media Marketing Consultant, I think it is important to understand these platforms to be able to make recommendations to my clients. There are also positives in using these services which I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog and will write more about in the future.
It is not necessary to list your phone number on any of these platforms. I don’t. It is also not necessary to post outside your Geolocator network to Twitter or Facebook. I vet people I friend carefully on all the platforms I am on. For Geolocation platforms, the vetting goes up a notch. Usually I know them personally. If not, we are selected Facebook friends. Frankly, Twitter friends alone is not enough to convert to a Geolocation buddy.
I have zero intention of turning on the geolocator function on for Twitter or any other public platform. There may still be issues even with all these precautions, based on the podcast from the geolocation panel at SXSWi that points out there are ways to access the data inside these services if someone is so skilled as to do so.
I am on FourSquare
Update: I was on Gowalla and Whrrl when this was written but those sites have been taken down so I have removed the links to my profiles there.
Whrrl has (update “had”) a special privacy level called “trusted friends”. Here is what John Kim, head of product marketing for Whrrl had to say about privacy on Geolocators.