There’s nothing like Loopt for meeting up with friends. Loopt, and social-mapping programs like it, broadcast your cellphone’s location to other users, a useful service the New York Times says, with troubling privacy implications. “There is a Big Brother component,” said one analyst. “If my friends can find me, the telephone company knows my location all the time, too.”
Though currently popular mostly with college students, 55% of phones can run social-mappers. That’s great for coordinating meetings, or keeping track of an Alzheimer’s patient, the Times says, but what if an employer asks you to use it? Or a spouse? “There are privacy risks we haven’t begun to grapple with,” said one lawyer.