Educator Privacy with Facebook Places

As Facebook advances in features and applications, a new aspect may have some parents and children concerned for their privacy.


General Use

“Facebook Places” will allow users to share with others where they are, find where their friends are, and discover new places around you. By checking in to places and adding locations, you will be able to discover places that you would like, based on your interests. You can even “tag” your friends to a location where you may be together.

Privacy Settings

For educators who think this may violate their privacy, you can opt out of sharing your location with other users. You can also limit check-in settings to “friends only”. Friends can tag you in places you may be together, but these tags can always be removed. The point of this feature is to do just that, share with your friends and not the whole world.

Teacher – Student Usage

For educators who may be friends with their children on Facebook, this new feature may not be the best idea. Thankfully the many privacy settings allow you to choose who, if anyone, can see your check-ins. You can also allow people to check you in to a place or not.

A feature that will help protect the privacy of children is that minors will only be able to see their friends. This is a benefit of the protection that so many younger users of Facebook will get. The feature is only available to use on smart phones, and right now the iPhone is the only supported device. Thankfully, the customizable privacy settings allow you to protect your account from sharing unwanted information with others.

Necessary Addition?

There are already many location based applications that do all of this – and more. I don’t see the real point in combining this with Facebook pages. For businesses and local events it may be a bright idea, but for educators and students it may add to the risk of sharing information with unwanted people.

Picture by: quintanomedia

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