How do you feel about letting your significant other keep dibs on where you went on your lunch break or giving your boss the ability to know first hand whether there really is a traffic jam preventing you from making that 2pm meeting?
If this kind of big-brother scenario doesn’t give you the creeps then take a look at Google Latitude, new software that works with Google Maps to let mobile phone users share their location with close family and friends or a wider circle of contacts. Using GPS and cell-tower triangulation technologies, Latitude lets people who opt-in to the service to share their precise location or something much less exact and adjust the settings on a friend-by-friend basis. The software currently works in the United States and in 27 other countries.
Latitude supports most Blackberrys, some Android-powered phonea, Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile 5.0 devices. Google says Apple iPhones and some Sony Ericsson devices will eventually be added to the mix, and for non-mobile users, the software can be installed as an iGoogle gadget on a desktop or laptop.
It’s the opt-in part that Google hopes will address the multitude of privacy concerns associated with these kinds of location services. There’s a social networking aspect as well as Latitude lets you be in touch directly via SMS, GoogleTalk, Gmail or by updating your status message.