Facebook Places - a boon for admen and paedos

Facebook has launched its Places app on the iPhone in US, allowing users to tell their mates - and advertisers - where they are.

Facebook users with the holy handset will be able to "check in" at given places and find out of they have any friends nearby.

The app uses GPS to rifle through a list of locations, of which you choose the nearest and tell your mates where you are - in the manner of FourSquare. The app wil tell you which if your mates - if any - are nearby of if any of them have ever been there.

Since Facebook is brim-full of teenage girls trying to make themselves look as sexy as possible and since the privacy settings on the service are as impenetrable as your average EULA, we can smell problems coming already.

On this theme, Rainey Reitman, spokeswoman for Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in the US told the Guardian. "Location data is tied to people's safety – if people know where you are, they know where you're not. Your location data is some of the most sensitive data we have. I expect we'll see from the get-go people who don't understand how to control the privacy settings."

Facebook reckons users will now be able to control their privacy settings more easily, having introduced some reforms recently.

Besides, the service opens the way to location-based advertsing, which services such as Facebook and Google see as a lucrative avenue to amble up.