The benefits and risks of using geo-location on your mobile device
The rise in precision of geo-location features on smartphones and mobile devices can have enormous advantages for you as a consumer – as well as extremely dangerous consequences. So, just how does your smartphone know where in the world you are? When location services are enabled on devices, the precise physical location of your phone (and you, assuming you are chained to it…) can be pinpointed via latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates down to a matter of feet.
As a user, this can be great for you if you are dying for a Starbucks in the middle of Manhattan, lost in a new city trying to get to a job interview, or wondering why in the world your kid isn’t home at curfew. And, as a business, you can take advantage of geo-location with geo-targeting – knowing your customers’ locations and serving them selected offers based on their proximity to your business.
However, there is a darker side. When GPS or geo-location is enabled on your devices, it may embed the exact location you were when you took photos with your smartphone or mobile device.
You have all of this fantastic technology at your fingertips and everywhere you see great opportunities to capture a lifetime of memories: family fun times, vacations, work events, or just documenting what you had for breakfast! We all do it. We take a quick snapshot, upload it to one of our favorite social networks, and voilà! In a matter of seconds, our lives are on display for thousands of people to enjoy and comment on. Or, do something far more sinister…