Google Latitude - A Boon Or A Bane

Tags: internet, web development

Have you ever wondered how to locate the nearest delivery centre of your client in china?

How to locate your friend hitch hiking in South America?

How to confirm if your teenage son is in the library as he said?

Google has a one stop solution for all this – Google latitude


Another innovation from the web giant Google, Google Latitude not only shows the exact location of your friends & family through mobile phones or computer, but also allows you to contact them via, Gmail, G talk and SMS. This software is an upgradation of Google maps. User can decide on the privacy settings so that only selected friends & family members can locate their whereabouts.


Commenting on the latest brainchild of Google, Vic Gundotra, the Vice President of Google’s mobile team, posted in his blog "Now you can do things like see if your spouse is stuck in traffic on the way home from work, notice that a buddy is in town for the weekend or take comfort in knowing that a loved one's flight landed safely, despite bad weather," wrote Gundotra. "It's a fun way to feel close to the people you care about."


Though such GPS technologies have been available online for quite some time, the entry of Google has made the industry alive with rumors.Google latitude is a huge leap forward, but at the same time, privacy issues are a major concern for all. With this ground breaking software, will the Big Brother be forever watching your back, taking note of all your actions, your whereabouts, contacts & more?


As if sensing the rising concerns, Google was quick to issue an online statement saying that the tool is not for everyone all the time.
"Fun aside, we recognize the sensitivity of location data, so we've built fine-grained privacy controls right into the application," said Gundotra. "Since you may not want to share the same information with everyone, Latitude lets you change the settings on a friend-by-friend basis. So for each person, you can choose to share your best available location or your city-level location, or you can hide.

Besides an interesting feature of Google latitude is that users can lie about or give bogus information about their location anytime.  For instance, let's say you are in Rome," Gundotra added. "Instead of having your approximate location detected and shared automatically, you can manually set your location for elsewhere -- perhaps a visit to Niagara Falls."


Will  Google Latitude prove to be a boon or a bane? Only time will tell the answer…

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