Google Latitude used to track down stolen mobile phone


Latitude, Google’s stalk-tool that lets you see where your friends are on a map, has saved the day in Silicon Valley after it lead to the successful apprehension of a mobile phone thief.

The perpetrator snatched a woman’s bag and then jumped in a car and sped off, but the lady had installed Latitude as a joke so that she and her sisters could “stalk each other”. Her sister jumped on the service and tracked down the thief, who was immediately caught by the cops.

Nice to hear a positive story about the service, which has come under considerable criticism in the past for violating privacy.

CBS (via TechCrunch)

OPINION: Here's what I want from Google Latitude


I don’t really care about privacy. I recognise the fact that other people do, but I don’t have anything to hide. Add that to the fact that I’m not especially interesting, and that I’ve been on the internet so long, and have such a unique name, that there’s a lot of me out there already.

That’s why I’m not bothered by commenters saying that Latitude is a massive privacy invasion. For me, the social proprioception offered by Latitude far outweighs the downsides of having my location available to my friends.

Google Maps for Mobile gets an update – with friend tracking!


There’s probably something wrong with the fact that I get little buzzes of excitement when mobile apps that I use get an update. This morning’s Google Maps for Mobile update was even buzzier than normal, though, because it introduced a new feature that people have been clamoring for for some time.

The new version of Google Maps for Mobile features a service called Latitude, which uses the GPS in your phone to track your location, and the location of your friends, much like Yahoo’s Fire Eagle service. You can see exactly where your pals are hiding out, and there’s plenty of built-in privacy control too.