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Foursquare edits privacy policy, starts showing full names

updated 08:39 pm EST, Sun December 30, 2012

Foursquare to make more user information and data public

Next January will see popular social app Foursquare changing its privacy policy in order to make more user information and data publicly available. This according to a new "Privacy 101" document the service published recently, as well as an email Foursquare has reportedly been sending out to users in order to alert them to the policy changes ahead of time. The service will begin showing users' full names, and venue owners will have more access to users' check-in data, and these changes are set to take effect on January 28, 2013.

Foursquare's post on the policy change notes that the site is "thrilled to have so many passionate users... trust us," and reassures users that the app's privacy model is built "so that your digital privacy mirrors what real-world privacy is like." The notice then goes on to compare "checking in" at a location to "telling a friend where you are," with the increased access for venue owners likened to being able to "identify the people who walk through their door most often."

The post assures users that Foursquare tries "to make responsible choices, communicate them clearly, and give [users] privacy options where we think [they'll] want them."

Beginning January 28, users full names will be displayed everywhere across the service. Users can alter the name displayed by changing their "full name" in the app's settings.

The policy change will also allow venue owners to access more recent check-ins than allowed currently. Right now, businesses can review check-ins occurring over the previous three hours, but Foursquare's notice gives no indication as to how large a time span will be added onto that limitation. The site notes that many businesses only have time to log in at the end of the day, meaning they might not have been able to see all customers that checked in throughout the day.

Users will also be able to change their settings in order to opt out of letting business owners see their check-in information.

by MacNN Staff



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