Most Users Don't Want To Share Their Location

Foursquare Times SquareNot mainstream yet.

Location-based services are going to have a hard time overcoming privacy fears and proving their worth.According to a Microsoft survey about location-based services released today, people think the risks far outweigh the benefits of sharing their location with others through services such as Facebook Places and Foursquare.

Microsoft conducted the survey as part of its participation in Data Privacy Day on Friday. Most of the results focused on whether users find location-based services more useful or more frightening, but there were also some statistics about the relative popularity of different services.

Some interesting nuggets include:

  • Less than 20% of users had ever used a service that tells others where they are, or to find the location of other people.
  • Only 27% of US users say they’d pay for any location-based service — even GPS-based services that let users find themselves and nearby businesses on a map. The number was lower in other countries, dropping to 16% in Canada.
  • Of the users who have tried location-based services, more have used Google Latitude or Places (52%) than have used Facebook Places (50%). The positions are reversed in the UK and Germany.
  • Of the users who have tried location-based services, only 15% in the US have used Foursquare, and the number was lower in other countries.

Microsoft asked the questions online during December 2010, and polled 300 residents in each of five countries — the US, UK, Germany, Japan, and Canada.


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