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Privacy Businesses Social Networks

Foursquare Will Display Users' Full Names By Default 101

Posted by timothy
from the that-will-have-no-problems dept.
Location services can be useful and fun, but, depending on how paranoid ("cautious") you are, you might already dislike the idea of a social-network dashboard keeping track of where you are at a given moment. After all, bad guys can use computers, too. Now, Foursquare may up your level of caution just a bit: CNET reports that "Beginning January 28, 2013, users' 'full names' will be displayed across the check-in service and venue owners will have increased access to users' check-in data, the company announced in an e-mail sent to users late last night." Users, though, "will still have control of the name displayed by altering their 'full name' in their settings," and can opt out of the increased flow of data to business owners. For users' sake, I hope Foursquare doesn't go in for the "real names" fetish to the extent that both Google and Facebook have.
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Foursquare Will Display Users' Full Names By Default

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  • Pitchforks in 3 ... 2 ...

    Not sure what they're trying to achieve by doing this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Publicity. And it seems to work, there are at least two articles in the interweb, and there will be at least two more when they "graciously reverse direction"...

  • Ut oh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 30, 2012 @03:35PM (#42427817)

    Know they'll know my last name is Coward!!!

    -- Anonymous

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 30, 2012 @03:40PM (#42427837)

    It's bad enough with fully, easily traceable public nicknames. The Internet has become something that I no longer want to have anything to do with. And yet there is no way to escape all this madness short of moving out to some cabin in the woods and living like a survivalist, which I really don't want.

    You really try to reach out to people, but it's always in through one ear and out the other. They don't get it. They think you are crazy. It's maddening.

    Even this site where I post this on, Slashdot, calls me an "Anonymous Coward" in an attempt to guilt-trip me into registering and logging in for anyone to track all my posts and violate my privacy.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I haven't logged in for several years. Never will again. Somebody stole my username: Anonymous Coward

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I've had a userid on Slashdot for 10 years. You can still post as AC by checking a box. I do that sometimes because I don't feel like spell checking, I think I might be displaying some ignorance, or because I just don't want people to think I waste too much time online.

    • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Sunday December 30, 2012 @04:15PM (#42428049)

      The Internet has become something that I no longer want to have anything to do with.

      Do you want the Intertubes all locked up? Or do you want them "open"?

      Because with "open" comes responsibility. YOU put stuff about YOU on a public network, YOU give private data to companies and "agree" to their "privacy" policy.

      In other words YOU are in the driver's seat about how much people on the Intertubes know about YOU.

      So take some responsibility. Your name and consumer purchasing data didn't "just show up" in some huge database for sale to the highest bidder, in fact at some point YOU checked a box or scrolled through a EULA, and clicked "continue".

      This is a side effect of being a "consumer" in a "consumer society".

      • by bmo (77928)

        So take some responsibility. Your name and consumer purchasing data didn't "just show up" in some huge database for sale to the highest bidder, in fact at some point YOU checked a box or scrolled through a EULA, and clicked "continue".

        But this is largely wrong, and an EULA in a 5 line by 20 column scrollable window that is in reality 20 typed pages long does not constitute consent. It could be argued successfully that EULAs, as such, are at best not binding and are likely contracts of adhesion due to the f

      • Exactly. Sheep follow the herd. Thinking people take charge of their own security.

        The internet knows a lot about me. It knows what I have let it know. But, none of the trackers track me everywhere. There were plenty of tools to prevent that even before the browsers came up with that "Anonymous Browsing" gimmick. About the only way anyone is going to track me, is to do a MIM attack. Even then, they better have a full suite of surveillance software with which to intercept TOR and other privacy software

      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        [quote]YOU give private data to companies and "agree" to their "privacy" policy[/quote]

        Bullshit. When I posted to Usenet, I wasn't initially aware I was posting worldwide distributed and instead thought I was participating in a central worldwide discussion area. Later when I realized I was posting worldwide distributed I didn't realize someone would make a commercial archive of it. Well, DejaNews (later Deja.com) made a commercial archive of Usenet, fully searchable, but not as good of a search as Google. L

    • You really try to reach out to people, but it's always in through one ear and out the other.

      Why they should listen to you? Continuity in the foundation of trust.

      an attempt to guilt-trip me into registering and logging in for anyone to track all my posts and violate my privacy.

      I have nothing but the most UTTER contempt for people who want to shout things to the world, but get all upset when we can tell what sort of things you shouted previously.

      Anonymity? I am so done with the concept, or trying to protec

      • people who want to shout things to the world, but get all upset when we can tell what sort of things you shouted previously

        I'd rather not shout it to the whole world. I frequently talk on mailing lists and forums where I expect there to only be a dozen or a hundred people reading it. Unfortunately the internet never forgets, and if I sign my real name to it, it becomes my legacy. I prefer to not have to think whether every random comment is well-considered and sensible. I just want to share an idea, not make a statement for all posterity.

        As for Internet Fuckwards... Well, maybe people will say dumb shit because they're ano

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 30, 2012 @03:40PM (#42427839)

    The whole idea of "checking in" was ridiculous to me in the first place. It immediately reminded me of the cartoon where the clever mice give the cat a bell as a gift. Why should anybody be surprised if they want to amp up the level of stupidity an extra notch?

    • by alen (225700) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @03:50PM (#42427895)

      but if you are 22 or so years old how else are you going to show the world how cool you are?

      i mean everyone cares about everything you do every day?

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Back in my day, if you wanted to impress others, you just needed an IROC-Z and a good stereo.

        • It was also an earlier form of indicating your location to your friends. They could hear you coming in your car via the stereo and the screeching tires.

      • I don't think for many people it was about "cool". I've never used Foursquare myself, but I would assume I'd treat it more or less like a game.

        In fact like any other game. Just because, say, Star Trek Online gives out achievements, it doesn't mean I'd define my self-worth based on those, or on anyone knowing I have those.

        If I were to define anything "cool" about myself based on a game, it would be more like helping decrypt the binary .esm format in the early Fallout 3 days, before there even was a construct

        • by Brandybuck (704397) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @04:37PM (#42428159) Homepage Journal

          If they don't want their privacy violated they shouldn't be telling the whole world what they're doing on a minute by minute basis.

          • by xaxa (988988)

            If they don't want their privacy violated they shouldn't be telling the whole world what they're doing on a minute by minute basis.

            The point wasn't to tell the whole world, it was to tell a selected group of friends.

            I signed up to Foursquare after seeing two things in one day: I'd met a friend in central London. His phone "pinged" a little later, saying another friend had "checked in" to a nearby bookshop. We called him, and met up. The coffee shop we went to had an offer of a free larger drink for checking in.

            Since then, I've never crossed paths with one of the few people I've added on Foursquare, and never received a special offer

        • You don't understand it because you are an introvert. An introvert defines his self worth in terms of what he can do, as you have illustrated in your comment. An extrovert defines his self worth by what other people think of him. Unless you understand this, you'll never become adequately socialized.

          • by pla (258480)
            An extrovert defines his self worth by what other people think of him. Unless you understand this, you'll never become adequately socialized.

            An introvert also doesn't give a shit about being "adequately socialized", or about what extroverts think of them. Which, interestingly enough, makes that a somewhat asymmetrical relationship - Because extroverts do care what introverts think about them.

            So... leave me alone to read my damned book in the park, and I'll give you a +5 likeable or whatever the hell y
          • Re:Introvert! (Score:4, Interesting)

            by retchdog (1319261) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @06:53PM (#42428827) Journal

            speaking as an introvert, this is a false dichotomy. there's some truth to what you're saying, but overall it's just something introverts comfort themselves with, to feel like they have some kind of integrity, and to put off overcoming their limitations. of course, before i go on, i must say that extraverts have limitations as well.

            i've known several extremely successful people who define their self worth in terms of what they can do, but challenge themselves by living and exhibiting it with their peers. they actively mentor those who are (at the moment) less accomplished, and they seek mentorship from those who are moreso. their extraversion leads to more utility and challenge of their own abilities.

            this is not to say that extraversion is a superior strategy; there are those who, as you say, begin to define themselves through the shallow. also, extraverts can be annoyingly grating and pompous to their introverted peers who nonetheless ``walk softly and carry a big stick." every person they snub with their antics will be more inclined to vote against them when evaluations come around.

            so, the challenge of the extravert is to not be a grating prick, while the challenge of the introvert is to benefit from other people. stereotypes like you present are only good in seeing the challenge; they are not the right way to live.

          • by Kjella (173770)

            People have internal and external motivation but I think it's orthogonal to introvert and extrovert. The most obvious examples are the introverts who wish they could be popular and cool, they define their self worth in terms of what others think of them despite being introverts. And the attention whores that really define themselves only on what others think of them is a small minority of the extroverts, most of them are just social with self worth of their own. Good thing too because the greatest insult yo

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Customers like they do now for Yelp. Twice I've been confronted after leaving a bad review on Yelp. The last time the manager at a Jimmy Johns was able to figure out that I worked in the same building as the restaurant and talked to my boss. So now Foursquare is getting into the business of facilitating the harassment and intimidation of customers.

    • by AliasMarlowe (1042386) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @04:01PM (#42427951) Journal
      As the song goes, you ain't seen nothin' yet [guardian.co.uk]. Welcome to the oppression of legitimate protest and criticism.
    • by BitZtream (692029) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @04:20PM (#42428079)

      So did you promptly post another review pointing out what the manager did and how you recommend no one visit that store ever?

      That would have been about the best thing you could do. I realize that cutting yourself out of an in building place to eat lunch sucks, but a manager like that needs to be shit canned.

      • by iamhassi (659463)
        I would go to BBB and attorney state general on that, then there's a record and papertrail. Manager of a fast food chain calling my boss because I left a bad review is absurd.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      You fucked up, boy, and you have nothing but yourself to blame, because your setup enabled that manager to identify you.

      Maybe you said something stupid during your bad review, like that you worked in that same building during your bad review. Maybe you Yelp profile used your real name and/or linked to a social networking account like LinkedIn which says where you work. You might as well have posted all of your personal information on 4chan.org's /b/ board and expected nothing to happen. Social networking is

      • by iamhassi (659463)

        - Don't use linkedin at all. Telling everybody on the internet where you work is doggonne retarded.

        -- Ethanol-fueled

        AGREED!!!!!!

        I do NOT want strangers to know every job I ever worked! The risks of social engineering are HUGE! God forbid they call some dumb boss I had and pretend to be god knows who and get social security number or who knows what info from them. Plus stalking would be *extremely* easy with job info because I'm there more than I'm at home! Tires slashed by some nutty gf or employee from ten yrs ago and I have *no* idea why? No thanks! LinkedIn completely baffles me, people make the same informat

    • by SeaFox (739806)

      Why would your boss care what some G.E.D.-wielding sandwich shop manager thinks?

  • I hate not being able to be anonymous on the internet (check out my username). I still don't have a facebook / myspace / friendster / orkut / foursquare / linkedin / twitter / pinterest / instagram / flickr / youtube account, but wouldn't this be one of the "better" sites to show people's real full names? If you care about your privacy so little that you're willing to announce every single place you step into and what your social network is, is your full name really a big deal?

    Is there someone out there th

  • by AbRASiON (589899) * on Sunday December 30, 2012 @03:53PM (#42427917) Journal

    Google Plus, Facebook, Foursquare - a lot of services are really pushing the boundaries at the moment. I suspect the social media backlash is going to begin pretty damn soon.

    On a similar, on topic note: Did anyone who does sign in to youtube recently get 'tricked' by a box popping up, offering them the option to change their first / last name on the service? I got it and thought, "fantastic! I can finally login with a name other than my gmail mail alias" and attempted setting up a different name. BAM - it made me a Google+ profile which I didn't want.
    Upon removing the profile, my videos are now tied to my "Google+ youtube account" - so anything I uploaded, any favourites, any comments are not available unless I re-create the account.

    Heavy handed indeed and from the musings on the web, I'd say I'm not the only one who got stung by this.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      Google Plus, Facebook, Foursquare - a lot of services are really pushing the boundaries at the moment. I suspect the social media backlash is going to begin pretty damn soon.

      On a similar, on topic note: Did anyone who does sign in to youtube recently get 'tricked' by a box popping up, offering them the option to change their first / last name on the service? I got it and thought, "fantastic! I can finally login with a name other than my gmail mail alias" and attempted setting up a different name. BAM - it made me a Google+ profile which I didn't want.
      Upon removing the profile, my videos are now tied to my "Google+ youtube account" - so anything I uploaded, any favourites, any comments are not available unless I re-create the account.

      Heavy handed indeed and from the musings on the web, I'd say I'm not the only one who got stung by this.

      I bet the government is giving them tax breaks for implementing it.

      • I bet the government is giving them tax breaks for implementing it.

        I bet they're not.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I bet the government is giving them tax breaks for implementing it.

          I bet they're not.

          You're right. they are just giving them National Security Letters.

          Why give money away or bother with warrants when you can just claim "National Security" and completely bypass that pesky "Bill of Rights" thing.

          • by undeadbill (2490070) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @04:23PM (#42428095)

            Dunno why this was modded down. The *ONLY* ISP or hosting service operator in US history to challenge a national security letter was Nick Merrill. Ever.

            A single national security letter can dragnet in thousands of user accounts. Simply receiving one means that you are already bound to secrecy by the letter itself with the very real threat of 10 years in jail. Nick had to fight in a secret court hearing just to have the right to have an attorney represent him, and then again to publicly state that he received a letter. He still cannot discuss any of what was requested, or he goes to prison for a very long time.

            They are not limited to one letter per user per item- they are not required to be specific at all. That means every major service out there has been handing out your info to the feds. Usually, this is just usernames and other log data. If your full name is included, it makes it that much easier to keep tabs on you. And, yes, people are being investigated and rounded up based on this kind of data.

            Look up the Calyx Institute or Nick Merrill on YouTube. Fascinating stuff. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkvGK60MSOk [youtube.com]

        • I bet the government is giving them tax breaks for implementing it.

          I bet they're not.

          They basically don't pay taxes anyway, so the point is moot.
          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/28/facebook-foreign-taxes-profit_n_2376055.html [huffingtonpost.com]

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Nope, you're just another ones bitching about using a free service and demanding they do it your way.

      Perhaps if you're so afraid of people knowing what you post online you should think a little better before you post it.

    • On a similar, on topic note: Did anyone who does sign in to youtube recently get 'tricked' by a box popping up, offering them the option to change their first / last name on the service? I got it and thought, "fantastic! I can finally login with a name other than my gmail mail alias" and attempted setting up a different name. BAM - it made me a Google+ profile which I didn't want.

      I've had a (seldom-used) YouTube account for several years - it was created well before Google bought them. The user name on the account has no resemblance to my (or any) real name. Every time I go to YouTube now I get a popup attempting to get me to switch to my real name - and, when I say "no", I'm asked to explain why. I've found it easiest to just pick the "I'll decide later" option, although I'm not sure for how long they'll continue to offer that as a choice.

      If forced, I've decided I'm going to put "P

      • by AbRASiON (589899) *

        That's the box - it will make you a Google+ profile if you're not careful (perhaps I'm blind but I didn't find that was clearly stated)

        It also won't allow anonymous names. I try to stick with just my initials - but no luck.
        Problem is if you make your name "Anonymous Dude" then your google+ profile (and possibly your gmail reply name?) will also be "Anonymous Dude" for example,.........

        • Oh that's a good point - I didn't think about how it might affect my gmail account.

          It's too bad I like using gmail so much - in a lot of ways I'm at the point where I'd like to just stop using my Google account at all.

    • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @04:38PM (#42428169)

      I suspect the social media backlash is going to begin pretty damn soon.

      It wont. People are fucking stupid. They have absolutely no idea what's happening to them. The only thing that will push the public as a whole to care is if holywood makes a movie about it and makes it glaringly obvious what's going on. But this isn't something that makes for good theater, and advertisers are going to squash any attempt to make such a movie just like they killed that Mythbusters episode about RFID.

      On the bright side however, those same stupid people that are using these services are also Fickle. I have a niece that's your typical tall blond bombshell, most popular girl in a very large school, won state sports championships, etc... Has something like 3000 facebook friends. According to her, facebooks on its way out. They are mostly annoyed by it and all the drama on it now. One girls opinion but she holds sway over quite a few clueless youth so who knows. I suspect that she's one of those "keystone" members that social networking sites fear losing.

      • by ciotog (1098035)

        I have a niece that's your typical tall blond bombshell, most popular girl in a very large school, won state sports championships, etc...

        Oh really? Can I get her name and phone number?

      • "The only thing that will push the public as a whole to care is if holywood makes a movie about it and makes it glaringly obvious what's going on."

        Hollywood already made that movie and it had little effect, probably because it was before it's time and had no real relevance to the general public.

        The movie?

        "1984"

        Maybe it's time for an updated version that includes current technology.

      • Sorry, Facebook is for the older generation. srsly. It's been known in school (high school) for a while.
        • Yes, from what my niece has been telling me and what I've read between the lines, Facebook is no more that a way for her to trick her parents and teachers into believing in some double life where she studies all night, is dating some guy that doesn't even live near here and never drinks.

      • by Sigg3.net (886486)

        We need better and official information that is balanced.

        E.g. many who are opposed to Facebook's data gathering are also not users of such tools (like myself).
        I understand the opportunities such a tool can have e.g. for old people keeping track of the family tree.

        However, the services should be decentralized and not mine the data for nefarious purposes. The main problem with Facebook then, is its recognition and marketing.

        I don't see how you get around this beast without democratic regulations.

    • by pongo000 (97357)

      it made me a Google+ profile which I didn't want.

      I noticed a week or two ago that the Google Play store will no longer permit you to submit reviews and ratings for apps if you do not have a Google+ account. No opting out of it either.

      I suspect the day is coming where you will have to have a G+ account to even download from the Play store (and what a stupid fucking name that is BTW, Google Play).

      It is faintly amusing to me though that I can create an unlimited number of gmail accounts under any nom de plum

    • by ciotog (1098035)
      My daughter, now 10, has had a gmail account for a few years which she uses to correspond to friends and family. About 6 months ago she got locked out of her account because she started creating a Google+ profile (it prompted her to do it), and put in her real birthday. I didn't want her to lose all her correspondence, so went through the painful process of having the account put under my name (and having to verify my birth date). Google's done a lot of things I don't like, but their services tend to be bet
      • by pla (258480)
        About 6 months ago she got locked out of her account because she started creating a Google+ profile (it prompted her to do it), and put in her real birthday.

        Wonderful! And I hope she learned the appropriate lesson - In the online world, Lle lie lie about every personal detail any site asks you.
    • It's called Fascist corporatism. In the US and a lot of the rest of the world it is Google, Facebook, Foursquare doing it for the goverment.

      In China they don't need to do it through proxies:

      http://politics.slashdot.org/story/12/12/28/1311205/china-tightens-internet-restrictions [slashdot.org]

      The NY Times reports China has once again stepped up its efforts to control the internet, passing a new set of rules by which internet users and ISPs must abide. In addition to requiring that users provide their real names to internet providers, the government says those providers are now more responsible for deleting or blocking posts that aren't agreeable to the Chinese authorities.

      Same shit, different country

  • Who exactly is behind the push for real names to be used instead of 'anonymous' screen names throughout the internet? I don't like it.

    Every time I login to YouTube I get pestered to change my username to my 'real name', except of course the 'real name' they're trying to push me to select isn't actually my real name.
  • by Brandybuck (704397) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @04:34PM (#42428147) Homepage Journal

    I get the impression that those who want to tell the whole internet where they are at any given moment aren't too concerned about privacy. Then again, they may just be oblivious to reality. I know many college kids who have absolutely no clue that everything they post on a social site is viewable by the entire world for all of eternity.

  • I quit using them over a year ago. Most everyone I know have abandonded them the second that Facebook started doing what they do.

  • Users, though, "will still have control of the name displayed by altering their 'full name' in their settings,"

    OK, my full name is Hugh Jardonne.

  • cancelled my account...
    • Just change your "full name". There is no requirement that it's your real name (unlike FB, Google, etc).
  • self-satisfied (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday December 30, 2012 @06:10PM (#42428625) Homepage Journal

    I am really proud of the fact that I don't know what "Foursquare" is.

    I really don't need to know what all of my friends are saying and doing at all times of the day and night. Shit, life is too short.

    I wonder how many twenty-somethings are going to hit 40 and realize that they spent more time updating their social networks than actually doing something.

    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      The same question has been asked generation after generation, only with other behaviors like drinking and slacking off.
      • by PopeRatzo (965947)

        The same question has been asked generation after generation, only with other behaviors like drinking and slacking off.

        At least drinking makes you drunk. What does incessant use of "social networks" make you? Certainly not social.

  • There is a very loud and very small group of geeks that really care about anonymity. It's not everyone, and it's not even all the older geeks; there are plenty of us old-timers who don't have these cyberpunk yearnings and prefer networks that use real names (or just don't care). It's unfortunate that this anonymity bunch has come to be thought of as representative of geekdom.

  • I read the summary, I read TFA. Still no idea what "FourSquare" is. A "check in service"? For hotels? Airlines? Hats?
  • Fortunately it's actually quite easy to delete your Foursquare account: you just go to the Privacy Setting section of your settings. You even get a little tick box where you can indicate that you're doing it because of privacy concerns. Whether they genuinely delete all of your data, like they say they do, is another matter.

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