A good way of keeping in touch or a tool for stalkers? Could location sharing be a useful feature for Google Maps?
Some time this year, Google Maps will come with a new feature. One that can be handy and creepy in equal measure depending upon how you use it. Being rolled out is Google Maps’ new location sharing features.
With Google Maps, you can already find out how late your next bus is, or look for suitable bars and restaurants. Its latest addition will enable you to share locations with fellow Google users for a given period. For example, 15 minutes or three years. Or indefinitely even. With this tool, you can also tell your friends or family you are running late. This is useful if you’re organising a social event or a formal meeting.
When shared with fellow Google Account holders, your location details can be retained for a given period. With non Google Account holders, access to your location sharing link will only be valid for three days.
A charter for stalkers and abusers?
There are fears that Google’s location sharing features could give stalkers carte blanche to stalk people in an abusive relationship. He or she could be forced to leave Google Maps’ new feature on indefinitely. Most importantly, users can decide whether or not to disable sharing facilities. Google is also working with the Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) support group, to address online security concerns.
How Google Maps’ location sharing system could work in the workplace
If your business has decided to organise an away day, some of the party might be unfamiliar with the venue, town or city. In this case, the employer could share details of the venue’s location with its delegates. Delegates could use the new feature to tell them if they are on their way, or running late.
Its uses at home
If you live with parents or share a flat with other flatmates, you might want to share your estimated time of arrival. Your parents could be doing the best curry on this side of the universe, and you hope it’s fresh when you get home. If running late, they could be linked to your Google account (and know why the bus is late or non-existent).
Could it work?
At this moment, we at Net Sixty Six SEO have yet to see the app on our smartphones or digital tablets. Once we know, you’ll find out here, on this tiny red spot of server space in the cosmos.
Net Sixty Six SEO, 23 March 2017.