Facebook Disables ‘Friendshake’ Hours After Launch
What is Facebook doing?! Here today, gone today? What is next. And judging from the comments, users are starting to become more and more skeptical. This will be about all companies learning new definitions about boundaries, transparency, privacy. Some will fall, others will rise (who really get it). What we'd love to know is: who is the exact engineer who got the idea for this app first and why? That's the real question! Childhood issues, perhaps?
For a few hours, Facebook users were able to locate "friends" that were in physical proximity via Facebook’s newest app -- "Find Friends Nearby." It uses GPS to indicate your location to everyone, anyone of whom you are a "friend." People expressed concerns over privacy issues and even nicknamed the new service the “Stalker App.” After the push-back, Facebook did a fast take-down just hours after it had quietly launched the app. Facebook released a statement afterward saying: “This wasn’t a formal release -- this was just something that a few engineers were testing. With all tests, some get released as full products, others don’t.” Ah...yeah. Let's see what the digerati have to say about that.
What Others Are Saying...
People in my neighborhood are able to randomly try to friend me using this app. … The unanswered questions are the ones that scare me most: What info has Facebook saved off of each persons browsers and have used without users permission to adjoin these "location near to you friends.” … Facebook is starting to creep me out-less sharing for me. … This is the future of relationships. Through geo-location awareness you're able to enhance your social sphere. It's only going to become more automated and more expected.
So Facebook now wants to ruin whatever little privacy you have left when you are outside and minding your own business. … In order for this to work, you have to open the specific page in the app. … You have control in your OS over which app has access to your GPS location. If you're worried about being tracked by an app, don't let it have access to GPS. … If you want a friend to know where you are, isn't it just easier to hit speed dial than to navigate to a webpage?
You only show up in that list when you have the page open. It's not a feature that is "on" or "off". The deal is - both users trying to friend each other go to this page and then they will both appear. If you don't ever go to that page (which takes about 20 taps on the iOS app to get to, so no one is going to do it), you'll never show up. … I found this latest assault on our privacy courtesy a Facebook appalling. … I am curious how many users Facebook would retain if sharing were no longer optional, but a requirement of membership.