Before a recent social media class explaining the vast purposes of Geolocation, I wasn’t entirely sure what it was used for or why I should ever “check-in” somewhere. After this class however, I had a much better idea of its purposes but still not a clear answer on whether or not I wanted to be giving out my location to an iPhone application. On one hand, I like the idea of receiving coupons and advertisements about products that might interest me near my current location, but at the same time, I don’t want to be receiving a million advertising pop ups when I am close to a large shopping center. However, the rewards and discounts incentive provided for “checking-in” does seem appealing. Another purpose seem to be to connect people who are currently in the same place which at first sounds like a good idea to meet people who attend the same stores, restaurants or school as you, but safety and dependability could be questioned.
I can’t say I never use it! Often times when I need directions or want to find the nearest Starbucks, there is no hesitation to allow an application to use my current location. It seems to be an easy and fast way to find exactly where you need to go.
The debate seems to come in when I think about what they use my location for and who is paying money to receive information about where I go. Could it be extremely helpful in defining a target audience for advertisers..? Yes. Could it be slightly invasive? Yes. Who’s right is it to profit off of YOUR location? I guess that’s for everyone to decide for themselves.
I’m still not entirely sure where I stand with this topic but this article seemed to provide a lot of information about these Geolocation apps and their purposes.