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Geolocation privacy

by Brian Sims

Smart mobile devices have the capacity to tell us where we are by using GPS, but at the same time, they can tell others what our location is. In some cases, when we want to make this information available, being able to unveil our location is a good thing. But ideally we should be able to switch the option on and off to avoid potentially putting ourselves at risk. SinglesAroundMe, a popular social discovery mobile dating app has developed the patent pending Position-Shift. Position-Shift allows people to shift their public geolocation for the sake of their mobile privacy and security while on a smart-phone or social network. It allows mobile users to choose who knows where they are and when, giving them full control of their desired privacy. It can also work across other social networks. Anyone using Facebook, for instance, could use Position-Shift in the future to allow users to choose which friends and family members they would allow to see their exact location. Others could see their location displaced by selectable setting of 1 mile, 2 miles, or 10 miles from their real location on maps or by digital distance calculations. Users can customise levels of location privacy for different individuals, groups of friends, work colleagues, social networks, family, etc. The algorithm used on this app introduces a degree of displacement in the user’s location with user-defined control. SinglesAroundMe CEO Christopher Klotz says,” We came to realise that our invention has broad appeal across all social networks and where location is a privacy issue for people in their everyday lives. People in all walks of life desire the ability to control who knows where they are and we just discovered a clever way to control this in the digital world.” Similarly, posting a photo to a social network or a photo service like Instagram and having the option to utilise Position-Shift to alter the location of where the photo is taken is an important privacy option. For example users may wish to post a picture, but would prefer to alter the geo-tag location of exactly where the photo is taken from so third parties can’t locate their real location at that point in time, just as they have offset their GPS location.

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