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Ken Norton
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Everybody underestimates what it would take to just "copy Groupon". They're not a technology company, they're sales and ad copywriting. Have you read their style guide?
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2010 on groupon is copywriting performance art at
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@delfuego: "I can't think of a reason this should be so; I'm logged out of my Google account, so there's no place for the app to be sending my location, meaning it should stop using Location Services." You're right, there is no good reason. It's a bug that will be fixed in the next release. To be clear though, the phone is not reporting your location to Latitude when you're logged out, the app just failed to unregister for location changes so the icon persists.
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2010 on google latitude pm ken norton responds at
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Hey guys, I definitely agree that more granular controls over location sharing are desirable. In addition to what we have today (city-level vs. best available for example) I like the concepts of sharing for a specific duration of time (e.g. next 30 minutes), or sharing with certain people only in certain areas (when I'm outside my home area, let all my friends see my location for example). Check-ins are also another form of control, sharing your presence at a specific place. More control can only be a good thing so long as it doesn't add to confusion or increase the risk of sharing something you don't want to share. (And yeah, Glympse is very cool!). So in no way was I trying to argue with the utility of those features. At Google, we're definitely aware that our relationship with users is built on trust. From a privacy perspective, I like to think that we don't approach privacy merely as a launch checklist box that needs to be checked but as a benefit. We consider privacy to be a feature of Latitude, for example. We've been very clear about this from the beginning and it's been very well-received (see this post from EFF for example: It takes time for consumers to become comfortable with new technology, and that's as it should be. As an example, recall how many people were nervous in 1998 about entering their credit card number into a browser. I'm sure when companies like LL Bean started taking phone orders there were the same concerns about giving your credit card number over the phone. The same thing was said about web-based email. The list goes on. I'm not listing these to argue that these fears were unfounded, they weren't, and consumers should be skeptical of and challenge technology companies. But rather that users learn to trust in technology when the ones providing the service put the user's interests first and prioritize control and transparency over everything else. Thanks for the fun discussion! Ken
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2010 on google latitude pm ken norton responds at
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Since I'm the PM for Google Latitude, let me try to respond. I've never been one to let the mainstream media dictate my product positioning, so let's set that aside for the moment. Here in the High Tech Octagon we sometimes overlook and important fact: for the majority of consumers, a mobile phone is a tool for staying in contact with close friends and loved ones. Yes, it's hard to believe when the echo chamber is awash with people using smartphones as a megaphone for broadcasting their every movement and whim to the entire planet. Latitude has never been a product intended to be used with many, many people. It is, quite simply, a way to keep in contact with a very few number of your closest friends and family members. How do consumers do that today? With voice and text messages - "when are you leaving?" and "where are you?" and "how far away are you?" Just yesterday I received a testimonial from a user who got off at the wrong train station and was completely lost. He called his wife who was able to use Latitude to find his location and rescue him. We hear stories about former abused partners who share their location with a best friend just in case. I'm a cyclist and it gives me (and my family) peace of mind to know they can see where I am when I'm riding or driving to events. Furthermore, Latitude has a pretty sweet "single player experience." Even if you're not sharing with anyone our History Dashboard is incredibly useful and magical. Privacy has been a *feature* of Latitude since we launched - you have complete control over who you're sharing with, you can choose to share your closest location, city-level or hide. We also send you email reminders when Latitude is enabled just in case you forgot, or in the event that somebody has enabled it on your phone without your consent. Latitude isn't trying to be Twitter, and it's not Foursquare. That's not the point. So rather than asking "why would I want to share my location continuously with the entire world?!" ask yourself "would it be useful if I could continuously share my location with my best friend/spouse/partner/parent/loved one?" Ken
Toggle Commented Dec 14, 2010 on um, no thanks. at
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Dec 14, 2010