The advancements in social media together with new applications developed to work hand in hand with social media results in us all increasing the size of our digital footprints. Whilst there are advantages in analysing this data there are also issues and concerns with regard to the governance and use of the data especially from a data privacy perspective.
The latest applications about to become available, instead of looking to recommend the next person for you to connect to with a shared interest are designed to help you to avoid acquaintances.
The dawn of the anti-social application is upon us
The ‘Avoid acquaintances’ app is designed to address the anxiety people can feel in difficult social engagement situations. Using location-based networking site Foursquare, the app plots your ‘friends’ locations onto an ‘avoidance map’ (powered by Google Maps) so that users can ensure that no one has any uncomfortable meetings. The app even overlays green ‘safe distance’ zones on the map to help users keep their distance in case someone changes location but forgets to check in. Ideal I suppose if you have a restraining order!
It is hard to interpret what data privacy issues exist with such an application, or what information people would have to provide either about themselves or their acquaintances, in order to avoid them.
What does the Future Hold?
It is definitely one to be watched. It will not be too long before there are case law examples of an individual whose quality of life has been compromised because they have been ostracised by their alleged ‘friends’.
Other articles in the July Bridewell of knowledge
Read the full Bridewell of knowledge July 2014