Yesterday Google announced it's new service Google Latitude, which I believe can be integrated to Google Maps. It allows its users to share their location data with friends ("Ah, Tom is at the coffee shop in Manhattan"). The users can also set a fix location or hide their location, even with the possibility to set a different location than they are. You can only share your information with someone who accepted your invitation! If you haven't read about it yet, here's a link:
What do you think about this service?
I believe it has its positive sides, but most definitely also some negative sides. Privacy is a big deal here. As you can read from the page's FAQ, Google can save your data, if you are using Latitude. For example your phone number (if you use it to call somebody you see on the map) or your device model etc. and I think that could be a problem for a lot of people. Not everyone wants to share his phone number or personal interests with Google. But I think Google is controlled and watched by a lot of people. So they'll definitely be careful about these kind of data. My concerns are more about the safety issues. WHAT IF this service is hacked and data is stolen? But I'll have to say that I don't remember any Google service being hacked (examples, anyone?), but being offline or non-working. All in all I'ma have to say that if Google handles the privacy and the safety issues with transparency (as they do now -> you can read everything about the privacy on the FAQ page!) it could be quite a useful service.
Enough general talk, let's look at it from the developer's point of view:
What possibilites of using this service to create an app comes you in mind?
How will the service itself change Android's image on the market (not app market, but general mobile phone market)?
I think we'll see a couple of "where is your child?"-apps from third-party developers and that could be a privacy/safety problem, too!
What do you think?