Originally published: February 6, 2009
Last updated: February 6, 2009 - 4:32pm
The watchdog group Privacy International is sounding an alarm about Google's new phone tracking system, Latitude. "As it stands right now, Latitude could be a gift to stalkers, prying employers, jealous partners and obsessive friends," Simon Davies, director of Privacy International, said in a new report. Google's Latitude, unveiled this week, allows users to track other people via smartphones. The feature comes with some built-in privacy protections. Among others, users must opt in to the service, and even after enabling the feature, retain control over which of their contacts can track them. But Privacy International says the system has a design flaw: Other people can get their hands on users' phones, and then change the settings. For instance, the group said, a phone left in a repair shop could be secretly enabled. Or someone could give another a Latitude-enabled phone as a gift.