Hide and seek – does Google Latitude really want me to share my location…

“People don’t care about privacy” is a common refrain heard amongst social media pundits (most recently this morning by Jason Calacanis – in the latest @launch missive about Color.

Interesting.

Well we’ve done a lot of work on tweaking aspects of echoecho’s new OOBE (out of box experience) and this subject came up quite a lot.
Today we noticed that Latitude’s first screen on the iphone application says the following:

latitude OOBE

Let’s think about this for a second.
This is an application for sharing your location.
But 2 out of 3 bulletpoints on the one-and-only instructional page that comes up when a user first launches the app – describe how to STOP sharing your location.

Clearly we’re not the only ones who have noticed that a lot people are quite uncomfortable with real-time tracking of their location.

And by a lot of people – I don’t mean hyper-social early adopter check-in maniacs or social media professionals or d-list celebrities.

I mean everybody else.

In the real world – that’s 99.9% of people.

For sure it’s true that removal of friction in sharing (be that by the evolutionary path of blogging, twitter, facebook, instagram, path or otherwise) has interesting implications to consider.

But sharing your precise location is very different from sharing a photo, sound bite or funny lolcat.

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