Facebook friend tracking has business potential

Facebook can use GPS from your smartphone, but security may be an issue.

The social media giant has recently introduced a new app, the Nearby Friends app which tracks friends' locations, helping users to meet up with each other.

The app benefits businesses and consumers, providing users accept the intrusive nature of GPS location. Accessing tracking history to find out locations people visit and their interests could allow businesses to target relevant ads to appear on users' smartphones.  For regular used car showroom or quick lube centre visitors (information already known to Facebook's database) visiting another city or country, an advert could appear suggesting a nearby service centre or showroom.

However, there has been some criticism of the opt-in app which, once uploaded, remains active whether in use not.  This presents the potential risk of leaving the user's GPS location active should any of their friends' accounts be hacked.

According to Techcrunch, Facebook isn't targeting ads yet, but the social media giant has said that it will eventually use the data gained from Nearby Friends for marketing purposes.