A fantastic new friend-finder or the start of electronic stalking? Make your own mind up about new software launched by Internet search giant Google. Dubbed “Latitude”, the service allows users of mobile phones and other wireless devices to share their precise location with loved ones. Delivery firms, for example, are already used to keeping track of their drivers’ whereabouts. Now family and friends can track each other’s every move.
“What time are you going to be home? Have you left work yet? Is your wife at the restaurant that you are going to meet at? Those are very common questions every day and this is a great tool to let someone know,” said Google Project Manager Steve Lee. “Are you late? And so you can be more efficient with your time and maybe ease some friction in social interaction with people.”
Some say people-tracking raises serious privacy issues but Google maintains it has in-built controls to ensure the system is secure. Users, it says, have total power over who gets to see their location as well as the ability to limit the details of their whereabouts that they are prepared to share.