My Big Brother Google

I am the oldest in my family. That alone can say a lot. However, as the oldest I’ve never had a Big Brother. You know someone to show me around, keep me safe, teach me how to outsmart Mom and Dad – until now. Now I have a Big Brother his name is Google.

Google has recently introduced Latitude (website). This new offering is free from Google and integrates within iGoogle and many mobile devices. Latitude is an application that runs on top of Google Maps to provide real time display of a person’s location. When friends decide to share this application they will share their location with each other which is then displayed on a Google map.

Obviously this screams of privacy issues. Once we start giving information away about our location and carrying around devices that publish this we embed ourselves deeper into the grid. Conversely, as we build our society around this type of access it becomes more of a necessity. Remember a day when you did not need a cell phone. Now, leaving home without a mobile device is like forgetting to brush your teeth or leaving your purse in the closet.

What do you think? What benefit is there to building networks where you share information about each other? What are some of the potential about how this can be misused? If you do not plan on using Google Latitude why not?

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