Originally published: November 30, 2010
Last updated: December 2, 2010 - 11:38pm
Sure, you like all the great benefits of having your phone know where you are. Looking up directions or local weather information becomes that much faster. But outside companies and agencies are equally delighted to have access to your location information -- and not just to send you coupons. Increasingly, they’re going to be using that information for purposes that have nothing to do with your convenience and fancy. Some of those purposes you'll like. Others you might not be so keen about.
One you'll probably be okay with was just announced by Visa Europe. The credit card company is going to start using information about the location of customers’ mobile phones to prevent credit card fraud. Visa Europe has partnered with a company called ValidSoft that can establish whether your mobile phone is in the same place as the merchant or ATM where your card is being used. The assumption is that if the two devices are in close proximity, it’s probably you using the card, even if you’re far afield from your usual stomping grounds. If the two devices are not in the same place, the system may send up an alert.
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