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Army Warns on Revealing Location in Social Networking Status Updates

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Location updates can kill, warns Army

Places, a major offering by Facebook, in the year 2010 faced heavy criticism on privacy from different sections of the society. The application allowed the users to update their location through smartphones. The application used GPS signals to pinpoint the location of the user and post it on their page.

Defense commanders were worried that this may lead to a severe threat on the security of the troops located in the war-torn regions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Experts believed that the tech-savvy enemies can utilize this inputs to locate the position of the US Soldiers.

US Air Force was first to recognize the potential threats of these apps and sent warnings to the commanders and other troops. The army too followed in and issued necessary warning to its troops.

In view of the privacy issue Facebook discontinued the application in August 2011. Nevertheless, it has added more features of sharing location in its site. In the present scenario, an individual may add information about their current location from anywhere. The new location button is off by default, those interested in using it have to turn it on. Once the button is on the location details will get automatically added in all the post. The individual now has to cancel it using 'x' or turn it off.

Criticized for the lack of privacy Facebook is also making sure that the individual can select the people who can see the posts. It is ascertained that the social networking site wants more users to get accustomed in sharing their location details. But privacy is a major concern. Often these updates can lead to criminal activities. A man had his housed burgled when his Facebook status showed him to be out of station.

In another privacy lapse, Facebook last year had changed the default setting that left the profiles visible to anyone. Security agencies fear the worst as these location details could make them vulnerable to foreign intelligence agencies. French Police Chiefs are said to have warned their ranks, who undergone secret clearance of the defense, is exposing themselves to foreign elements by posting personal and professional information.

With Facebook through its applications are encouraging the users to share more information, security analysts believe that things can be detrimental if remain unchecked. The discontinuing of the Places Application has been a part of the privacy revamp of the company.

Many security agencies have banned the use of social networking while some are tentative as they help in gathering information. The Pentagon had plans of banning social networking from all the armed forces but had retreated after accessing the valuable information it could collect. Things are delicate at this moment, jumping to a conclusion has never been easy and especially not in this case. As of now it is advisable to restrict your updates



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