There are many uses for location based services. For instance you can use real-time maps or locate a local business. However, until some privacy safeguards are in place consumers should not use these services. Location based services basically offer information to consumers based on their geographic location. People can check in on various social networks as they travel from place to place. Many times they can use search engines to obtain geographically targeted results.
Who uses Location Based Services?
In 2010 a survey was conducted for a large company. The results considered consumers from the US, Japan, Canada, Germany and the UK. It demonstrated that about 94% of the consumers who had used location based services found that they were useful and valuable. However, this survey also found that more than 50% of the same consumers were concerned about their privacy when using geolocation information.
Alleviating the Concerns of Location Based Services
There are numerous concerns about privacy related to geolocation services. Consumers should receive notice that an app is going to collect and use their location information and they should be able to give their consent before the data is collected. Customers should be able to access this geolocation data and limit it if they desire. They should also be informed about how the data is to be stored, viewed and used and they should be able to choose how that data is ultimately used or combined with other types of data. If geolocation data is to be disclosed to any third parties, consumers should be made aware prior to using an app. Consumers should also be informed if their geolocation information is ever requested or released by a court order.
Geo-location Data and Privacy Issues
App developers who create location based apps and services must make customers aware of their use and obtain their consent. It is important for companies working in information or communication industries to work directly with governments, civil society, and other involved parties to protect the privacy of personal location data for consumers.