According to a news report from the Times Online there is a new Facebook application that uses positioning technology to pinpoint a person’s location using information retrieved from cell phone communications.
The Social Network Integrated Friend Finder (SNIFF for short) is a software tool that can be used through Facebook or a cell phone to find the location of a friend or family member.
A US company called Useful Networks developed the Sniff application has said that only people who give their permission can be electronically traced by the service. The Sniff software can operate across all cell phone service providers. Sniff users can specify which people can and can not track them, or whether they are willing to be sniffed by any person on the network.
Sniff is the first Facebook tool that charges a premium to peoples’ cell phone bills. The biggest users are currently in Sweden, where wireless-connected members on Facbook have integrated the software into their profile pages.
“Sniffing” works with the same technology used by the law enforcement to track down criminals or missing persons by their cell phones. The phone sends a signal to nearby cell towers. Positioning technology then calculates the persons physical location by using a triangulation measurement.
People who are lost could also use the tool to find their own location by “sniffing” themselves through their cell phone number.
The service could also be used by employers to track workers who use a company’s cell phones as part of their jobs.
The technology could also be used by a spouse or family member to keep tabs on a husband, wife or kid.
The Sniff people finder tool is able to locate a person within a radius of about 650 feet, or 200 meters.
Source: Times Online