Foursquare updating privacy policy, will start sharing more of your info

Information is one of the most valuable assets in the era of communications. This is the reason why so many internet-based companies strive to get as much information from their users as possible. It is also why many times their services are so affordable (or free) – they get some good cash out of your info. But we tend to draw the line at a certain point, and the best thing any company can do is being transparent about their privacy policy. Foursquare is accomplishing just that by creating their “Privacy 101” page.

This is an easier-to-read version of their full Privacy Policy. It is shorter and explained in a much simpler tone, making it simpler to go over and understand. But a brief, simpler read won’t exactly make people happy. Foursuare is planning to update their privacy policy, and your information won’t exactly be becoming more private.

Starting January 28, Foursquare will be changing two main things: your full name will be displaying your full names and businesses will see more of their customers’ info (for more than 3 hours).

1. We will now display your full name. Currently, Foursquare sometimes shows your full name and sometimes shows your first name and last initial (“John Smith” vs. “John S.”). For instance, if you search for a friend in Foursquare, we show their full name in the results, but when you click through to their profile page you don’t see their last name. In the original versions of Foursquare, these distinctions made sense. But we get emails every day saying that it’s now confusing. So, with this change, full names are going to be public. As always, you can alter your ‘full name’ on Foursquare at https://foursquare.com/settings.

2. A business on Foursquare will be able to see more of their recent customers. Currently, a business using Foursquare (like your corner coffee shop) can see the customers who have checked in in the last three hours (in addition to the most recent and their most loyal visitors). This is great for helping store owners identify their customers and give them more personal service or offers. But a lot of businesses only have time to log in at the end of the day to look at it. So, with this change, we’re going to be showing them more of those recent check-ins, instead of just three hours worth. As always, if you’d prefer not to permit businesses to see when you check into their locations going forward, you can uncheck the box under ‘Location Information’ at https://foursquare.com/settings/privacy.

People are still hyped up over Instagram’s recent change in their TOS, which would allow them to sell your images for advertising. Instagram/Facebook had to revert to their older TOS to keep users happy, and the social network is even confronting a class action lawsuit. Of course, these changes are not as drastic as Instagram’s.

We would go as far as giving props to Foursquare because there is a solution for every possibly negative change. You can simply edit your full name if you don’t want it readily available to everyone, or stop businesses from seeing your information by simply checking a box under the Location Information section. Foursquare is handling privacy concerns much better.

If you want to give the privacy policy a quick read, you can go ahead and check out their Privacy 101 page. It is not really much shorter than the regular Privacy Policy document, though, so I would spend a few more minutes and get more informed. That is if I were that worried – by now we should all understand that using all these services comes with a price. After all, Google probably knows more about us than most of our friends and family do.

But what do you guys think? Are these upcoming Privacy Policy updates something to worry about?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/rajendra1 Rajendra Singh

    I use 4sq fully aware that I’m giving up some of my privacy in doing so. Any new TOS updates should not come as a surprise to me or anyone else that uses it.

    • http://twitter.com/inguatu ingua2

      why do you actually use it? What’s the point.. no I mean really.. what’s the point? You can easily msg friends, post to your twitter or so on to let your friends know where you are.

  • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

    Oh, man. Here we go again…

    • NealJ777

      Pass the popcorn.

  • http://www.cjmillisock.com/ Chester Millisock Jr

    Foursquare account deleted.

    Not because of this privacy policy update (this update is actually nothing to worry about), but because I don’t ever use Foursquare, and don’t want to have to worry about whether any of their future privacy policy update IS something to worry about.

  • KOLIO

    I just looked up FOURSQUARE on WIKIPEDIA.I can’t believe that actual adults use this CRAPTASTIC “thing”,WTF it’s supposed to be.

    Makes the characters of BIG BANG THEORY seem normal/mainstream by comparison.

    • http://twitter.com/inguatu ingua2

      yet you seem soo above it all.

      • KOLIO

        You betcha…….GOOD CALL!
        Pardon moi if I struck a nerve……..

  • http://twitter.com/inguatu ingua2

    time to dump the useless app anyways… no loss.

  • Jayshmay

    ingua2: I totally agree with you! Same with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all of these, what is the point??? Phone calls, text messaging,. . .and in person all work just fine!

  • RavenFox

    All these stupid apps need to die

  • JulianZHuang

    dont even use 4square…

  • Caffiend

    Yelp it is!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=822507437 Paul Guy

    Are you people capable of having an opinion other than hate on the internet? Or do you just hate everything in general and this is where you go to tell everyone about it?

    • ryoohki360

      Its hip to hate on popular things, didn’t you know? Lol

      • Michael Thompson

        I hate that!

    • KOLIO

      Yeppers,this is where we come to complain about everything.Or,would you rather have”YOU PEOPLE” sign up for 4square & call it out for its CRAPTASTICNESS,Mr.Mayor 4square?………

      • enomele

        Do you speak English or just random insert of words that barely make sentences?

        • KOLIO

          Uh oh,looks like I’ve struck another nerve.You must be the “CHIEF of the PO-PO” @ 4square in Hooterville…….

          • enomele

            Don’t flatter yourself. To strike a nerve the person first needs to be able to understand what you’re saying. Sorry ;-)

          • KOLIO

            You seem to understand just fine.Besides, aren’t you a bit out of your jurisdiction, Mr. CHIEF of 4square PO-PO .Wouldn’t want someone to take your”job” while you’re away from Hooterville…….

          • enomele

            Let’s try to translate. Chief of the Po-Po of Hoover ville. Seems to me to be The Chief of Police of Hooterville? If your calling me a Grammer Police sure, but why Hooterville? Calling breasts Hooters was probably funny when we were 12.

          • KOLIO
  • itsgonnalast

    Foursquare isn’t important enough for me to tolerate this. Announcing the change on Saturday, 12/29 is telling and sneaky. I just deleted my account.

    I use Latitude instead; at least that improves my Google Maps search results.

  • JustAnotherG

    Not sure what people see in fs, personalized anything is what I Don’t Want but to each their own.. Everyone’s info is already out there, seems a bit late to be that worried over tos changes..

  • enomele

    They sure don’t like you, maybe if you stopped hating for no reason.

  • http://twitter.com/clintsix Six

    Account deleted

  • enomele

    I never really used 4square. Maybe once or twice. Not because of security issues or anything, just never interested me.

  • Pyngwie

    Thanks for the info…just updated my privacy settings and now is ok.