Facebook Places goes live in UK

Facebook's geo-location service Places went live in the UK some time this morning.

iPhone users will be greeted with a new message when they log into Facebook's mobile App, and conspiracy theorists and tinfoil-hatted nutjobs will have another potential privacy invasion to get in a lather about.

Any application that can track your whereabouts is, of course, open to abuse. But the bottom line is, if you're a secretive person who doesn't want anyone knowing what you're up to, don't use Facebook Places. Or Facebook. In fact, don't even use a mobile phone.

In a nutshell, the new function allows users to let their friends know where they are, what they are doing, and who they are doing it with. Facebook uses Maps App to show where you and your friends are, but only when you want them to know.

You have to 'check in' whenever you get to a new location and there is no live update of your movements, so you can't be tracked by your wife/ex girlfriend/stalker/probation officer.

There are a limited number of 'places' currently logged in the app's database, but you can add them as you go along.

Checking into a 'place' sends an automatic status update to your Facebook profile and we can see this becoming incredibly irritating as people start adding to the tsunami of useless information by logging their every geographical move.

Handy for tracking down your mates on a Friday night but, as with everything to do with social networking, utterly annoying in the wrong hands.

And let's face it, that's most of the people on Facebook.