Evernote vs. Foursquare: Two approaches to privacy

Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, quoted in Why Do People Keep Giving Foursquare Money?:

Knowing what places you’ve been inside of no longer requires you to actually check into places in the app… We have ‘Big Data’ about where people go, where they go after they go there, where they went before, where they don’t go anymore—there is tremendous value in all that check-in data. It is our job to harvest that.

Evernote CEO Phil Libin, quoted in Seven Questions for Evernote CEO Phil Libin:

There are bright lines that we won’t cross. We wouldn’t do anything where we’re seen as trying to make money from people’s information. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with that, but to us it violates trust. Anything you put into Evernote is private, and it’s yours.

And here’s a prescient talk (pre-NSA revelations) by security expert Bruce Schneier explaining how private companies know more about us than the government, and the risks of that.

One thought on “Evernote vs. Foursquare: Two approaches to privacy

  1. I think Dennis makes a compelling case why one shouldn’t use foursquare. I’m ok with a site following my behaviour online if it improves my experience and helps them succeed, but tracking my real life behaviour the same way is not acceptable in my opinion.

    On the flipside as an iOS user and Apple fanboy that also relies heavily on Google apps for my personal and professional life, I’m pretty sure Apple and Google know more about me than I should be comfortable with.

    I suppose the only way to really have any privacy is to disconnect from everything. Since most people can’t and won’t do that we need to accept a certain amount of our personal information may be used by service providers. That being said foursquare remains a compelling don’t use app based on what the CEO has said.

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