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Foursquare To Update Their Privacy Policy

Foursquare has started alerting its users about the changes in their privacy policy that seems to make user information much more public. It is said that when January 28, 2013 rolls around, the users’s full names will be shown on the service.


Foursquare published a document entitled Privacy 101 and posted it to their site that says:

  • When you check in at a location, it’s like telling a friend where you are. Your check ins are ONLY shared with others when you proactively decide to “check in” to tell Foursquare you’re at a particular location.
  • A business owner (say, a restaurant manager) can see their top customers on Foursquare, just as they could identify the people who walk through their door most often.
  • Foursquare can tell you who is at a location (we call this ‘Here Now’), but we make the visibility match what happens in the real world:
  • You always can see where your friends are if they’ve checked in, just like if they’d texted you to let you know.
  • We also give you a glimpse into which other Foursquare users are currently checked in at nearby locations. Since we realize some folks may not want to appear on this “Here Now” list, you can opt out of this feature on your account settings.
  • Obviously, there are certain things that don’t have a perfect allegory for the real world (e.g., posting photos to a location or liking a tip), but we try to make responsible choices, communicate them clearly, and give you privacy options where we think you’ll want them.

Typically, Foursquare only displays the user’s first name and last initial for public view and only the friends of the user can see their full name. With the new privacy policy their full names are going to be public. The only way to prevent their full and real names to be shown is by changing their full name on the service.

This was clearly stated in a section of Foursquare’s Privacy 101 that says:

When you use Foursquare, certain information is public, such as your public user profile information, tips, likes, public photos, lists that you create and lists of friends, and may be shared with or disclosed to third parties, including through our API to a wide range of users and services.  We may also share or disclose aggregated and anonymous data, such as anonymized check-in data (that is, not tied to individual users), to third parties, including users of our API, for analytical or other purposes.

In addition, use of third party apps developed using our API is subject to the terms of use and privacy policies of such third party developers. Certain Personal Information may be made available to third party developers if you or your “friends” use these third party apps. You should review the policies of third party apps and websites to ensure that you are comfortable with the ways in which they use the information you share with them. We do not guarantee that they will follow our rules or our Privacy Policy. Note that your friends will be able to see which third party apps you use.”

Written By

Leiden Johnson is a photographer by trade but loves all those geeky, tech stuff and the outdoors. If she's not working or going out, you can see her in front of her computer either writing about anything or playing MMORPG’s which helps her to be more creative in her photoshoots. Follow her on Twitter.



  1. jeff

    January 16, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    I haven’t use 4square for quite sometime now. looking forward to this new update.

  2. Santosh Kumar

    January 18, 2013 at 7:12 am

    I have no clear idea about the foursquare technique.

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