Google “quietly” added some features to Maps to let users share their location with friends and other contacts in real time. This means that you can now let your friends know where you are at any given time as well changes to your schedule. Google launched an app last year called Trusted Contacts to keep users safe by allowing them update their status to friends and family and by seeing that a user is active in the app at a certain location, a lost person for example ca be easily traced back to the last location they were using in-app and telecom mast information.
While the new update to Maps still has privacy advocated raising their eyebrows, the benefits perhaps might outweigh such concern in that people can easily locate their loved ones real time with downside being that such information in the wrong hands could be disastrous.
But Google attempted to do this in 2009 with Latitude.
Latitude is a new feature of Google Maps for mobile, as well as an iGoogle gadget, that allows you to share your location with your friends and to see their approximate locations, if they choose to share them with you. You can use your Google account to sign in and easily invite friends to Latitude from your existing list of contacts or by entering their email addresses. Google Talk is integrated with Latitude, so you and your friends can update your status messages and profile photos on the go and see what everyone is up to. You can also call, SMS, IM, or email each other within the app. Check out the video below to see Latitude in action.
So the technology has always been there but it would like we didn’t have this many connected people at the time so it was easy to for users not to get bothered. But a lot has changed since 2009 with respect to security as we have more cases of kidnappings in Nigeria and other parts of the world, we have more missing person cases among others and companies like Google are constantly coming up with ways around such problems.