Google now lets you stalk your friends

Google's Latitude: here are your friends
Google's Latitude: here are your friends

Google's efforts to collect information and connect the world might be admirable, but its new Latitude feature appears to be a little scary.

If you're mobile-enabled and have popped a bit of Google Maps fun on there, then you can opt in to the Latitude feature and invite friends and family to do the same.

If they agree, then you can see their profile picture on a map. While it's not giving the exact location, it will locate them to within a few hundred yards... more than enough to get on with a bit of stalking.

I know where you are

As Google's press release says: "Imagine if you spot your friend in the same neighbourhood as you on the map, using Google Latitude you can then click on their icon to call, text, IM or email them. We can also give you directions to their location on the map."

Or: imagine you spot a friend that's in your neighbourhood. They haven't got in contact with you, even though they know where you live. So you think 'hey, I'll call them' even though they probably have something else to do. They then tell you that they're somewhere else.

So you spend the rest of the day following them around online to find out which new friends they have and why they don't like you any more.

Although Google has added in a whole host of privacy features, allowing you to hide your location from one or lots of people at once, or just turn it off if you fancy it.

Available in 27 countries in most high-end phones, head on over to Google's Map page to download the update if you want to get into bed with your friends. Digitally.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.