A Shift in Dating App Technology Protects User Privacy
Privacy is a slippery slope — the more we engage with and utilize the technology at hand, the more we compromise our privacy. The dating app SinglesAroundMe offers an answer to concerns about GPS location and user privacy with their new feature, Position-Shift.
Position-Shift allows the user to decide how others view their current location by shifting their actual GPS location when on a mobile device. While on SinglesAroundMe, the app gives users three location options: hide it, show the exact location, or shift the location. By selecting “Shift,” users can choose to offset their location with a variety of distances — one mile, two, five, 10, and so on — so a “shifted” location would display that a user is five miles away from their actual location.
According to SinglesAroundMe Vice President of Media Relations Hattie Sellick, one of the important elements of Position-Shift is that it allows the benefits of geolocation services, without the concerns of revealing your exact location.
The feature “gives full control to the user to decide who should know where they are, much like we do in our everyday lives,” Sellick told Mashable. “In a world where we are forever tracked, [Position-Shift] gives the user the ultimate option to displace their location for the sake of privacy while remaining visible and accessible to those individuals or apps they choose.”
At the moment, Position-Shift is solely integrated into SinglesAroundMe, but Sellick told Mashable that licensing the patent for use on other social networks could be in their plans. SinglesAroundME CEO Christopher Klotz reaffirmed the possibility in a press release.
“We came to realize that our invention has broad appeal across all social networks where location is a privacy issue for people in their everyday lives,” Klotz said. “People in all walks of life desire the ability to control who knows where they are and we just discovered a clever way to control this in the digital world.”
Image: Flickr, Roel Wijnants