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Proposed Apple patent calls for variable location precision

updated 04:00 pm EST, Thu March 1, 2012

Tech could be applied to Find My Friends

A newly-published Apple patent application suggests the ability to adjust the precision of shared location data, notes AppleInsider. Titled Variable Precision Location Sharing, the filing suggests options to reduce precision to the neighborhood or even city level, instead of simply offering total accuracy or completely disabling tracking. The concept appears to be aimed at iOS apps like Find My Friends.

To address the diversity of social networks, Apple suggests managing precision on a person-to-person basis, for instance allowing some friends to get an exact address while others only get more vague data. Simplifying the process might be the ability to assign precision to groups, such as family, friends or coworkers.

Find My Friends has only been available since October 12th. The app's current privacy controls are relatively limited, based mainly around restricting the amount of time a person can be tracked. Apple could conceivably build variable precision into an app update.

by MacNN Staff



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