A really strange thing happened this morning, a friend sent me a text message asking where I was and apparently this message has then been sent out to nearly everyone in the address book in my phone!
Now I am at a loss as to how this happened as I had forgotten my phone and left it at home while I popped out, when I met up with the friend he explained what had happened and I showed him my phone and the text message that he had sent me was still on my phone unopened by me.
All I can say is if you received a text message from a strange number this morning saying “J where are you” please ignore it, sorry for any inconvenience but I really do not understand how this happened!
App intended to alert users when Facebook ‘friends’ are nearby
It will also help the social network target localised adverts
Privacy campaigners warn it is ‘profit trumping privacy
Facebook is developing a new smartphone app to track the location of users in an effort to target them with localised adverts, according to reports.
The app will help users to find friends who are nearby, alert them when it detects one in close proximity even when the app is not open on the handset, it is claimed.
It will be just one of a whole suite of mobile apps Facebook is building up to help it profit from the increasing proportion of its users who access the social network on the go.
But privacy campaigners warned it was another example of ‘profit trumping privacy’ and called the function ‘intrusive’.
The loading screen of the Facebook mobile app: The social network is developing a new smartphone app to track the location of users in an effort to target them with localised adverts
European regulators have already warned Facebook over the way it handles users’ personal data, forcing the company to turn off its facial recognition feature for European users.
The new app would help Facebook target advertising to users based on their location and their daily habits, helping corporate clients to reach the audiences they feel are most likely to want their products.
Plans for the app were leaked to Bloomberg by two people ‘with knowledge of the matter’, the financial news service said.
Development of Facebook’s location software is being led by Peter Deng, a product director who joined the company from Google in 2007, one source said.
Mobile first: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last week told investors that the company would focus on generating revenue from mobile apps
The team also includes engineers from Glancee, a location-tracking company Facebook bought out last May, and Gowalla, a location-based social network snapped up in December 2011, Bloomberg reported.
Facebook’s privacy policies already warn users that the social network may use location data to ‘tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or offer deals to you that you might be interested in.’
Mr Zuckerberg last week boasted that the company had redirected itself to focus on becoming a truly mobile company, in a move that he feels is paying off since their mobile ad revenue is growing.
‘2012 was a big year for us,’ the 28-year-old social media entrepreneur said in a conference call following the release of the Q4 earnings report a day earlier.
Facebook’s biggest challenge – and its greatest opportunity – lies in mobile devices which is an area that the company did not pay much attention to until just last year.
Most Facebook users access it using a mobile phone or tablet computer, yet the nine-year-old company only started showing mobile ads about nine months ago.
The company said it generated 23 per cent, or $306million, of advertising revenue from mobile, marking an increase from 14 per cent in the third quarter.
‘When we get your GPS location, we put it together with other location information we have about you (like your current city),’ says the social network’s data use policy.
‘But we only keep it until it is no longer useful to provide you services, like keeping your last GPS coordinates to send you relevant notifications.’
Matrix: Facebook’s privacy policies already warn users that the social network may use location data to ‘tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or offer deals to you that you might be interested in’
WEB USERS SEEKING ‘INVISIBILITY’
Consumer efforts to protect personal data and remain ‘invisible’ online is leading to a ‘data blackhole’ that could adversely impact digital advertisers, according to a new report.
The move to seek ‘new tools that allow them to remain ‘invisible’ — untraceable and impossible to target by data means’ will impact advertisers who rely on that information to target their audiences, technology research firm Ovum said yesterday.
Surveying consumers in 11 countries around the world, the research firm said 68 per cent of respondents said they would select a ‘do not track’ feature if this was easily available.
Mark Little, a principal analyst at Ovum, said Internet users were increasingly getting more access to new tools to ‘monitor, control and secure their personal data as never before’.
The recent scandal involving privacy breaches by mobile messaging service WhatsApp and lingering concerns over data use policies on Facebook and Google are prompting Internet users to be more guarded, Ovum added.
The new tracking device-style application has already raised concerns among privacy campaigners.
Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: ‘Data about where you are at any one time is hugely sensitive and should only ever be shared when users are fully aware of how the data will be used and remain in full control of who can see it.
‘Yet again it seems the case that the demands of advertisers trump consumer’s right to privacy, and Facebook needs to be very careful with these plans otherwise users will rightly be up in arms again.
‘The reality is that smart phones are capable of tracking our movements in real time, however consumers are largely kept in the dark about who can access the data and how it is used.
‘This has to change and the law needs strengthening to protect consumers from overly intrusive attempts to monitor our behaviour.’
There is already a range of other apps which constantly track user locations to help them find friends or places of interest.
However, privacy concerns and the heavy toll they place on smartphones’ battery life mean that they have failed to gain wide audiences.
The black taxi manufacturer LTI has been sold for £11.4m to the Chinese car manufacturer Geely.
The company has acquired the “business and the principal assets” of Manganese Bronze Holdings (MBH), the manufacturer of the London cabs.
LTI in Coventry went into administration in October with 99 out of its 176 workers losing their jobs.
The deal, which it said will safeguard production in the UK, was agreed with administrators Pricewaterhouse Coopers.
Geely said that its priority will be to re-establish the manufacture, sale and servicing of new and current vehicles “on broadly the same basis” as before the administration, including the continued assembly of the TX4 at the Coventry plant and retaining its 107 staff.
The deal includes retaining The London Taxi Company head office production, the Mann & Overton dealership in London including its property, and all related dealership assets including those in Manchester and Edinburgh.
Peter Johansen, vice president of Geely UK’s black cab operation, said that the Coventry factory would be supplying vehicles for the UK while others will be made in the sister factory in Shanghai for the left-hand drive market.
Li Shufu, chairman of Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, said: “We have ambitious plans for the business and, despite there being a number of challenges to overcome, we are committed to working with all stakeholders to build a solid future for the black cab business that will enable it to return to profitability and grow substantially.”
David Bailey, a professor of international business strategy and economics at Coventry University Business School, said Geely “is a big player” that is “growing quickly” and that there is a chance there for them to put resources into developing new models.
He said: “I think in the short term Manganese Bronze could always be saved. Longer term the big issue is about developing new taxis that can compete in the market. Geely potentially offers them a lifeline to do that.”
Involve the workforce
He also hopes that some of the workers who were made redundant could be taken back on to be part of the skilled workers assembly line.
David Bailey from Coventry University Business School: “There a big challenges ahead and a need for investment”
Geely made an initial investment in MBH in 2006, in return for a 19.97% equity stake, and established a joint manufacturing facility in China.
It was also the biggest single creditor when the company went into administration.
The acquisition includes plant, equipment and property, intellectual property rights, trademarks and the “goodwill of the business.”
It also includes MBH’s 48% stake in the joint venture manufacturing company in Shanghai set up by Geely and MBH in 2009 and MBH’s stock of unsold vehicles.
Geely has said that it will involve the current workforce as much as possible.
Roger Maddison, the union Unite’s national officer said: “They [Geely] have plans for the future, let’s hope its another Jaguar Land Rover with plenty of investment, we can have a real success story here in Coventry.”