Headline, September 17 2022/ ''' '' WHO'S -WHERE- WHEN '' '''

''' '' WHO'S -WHERE-

 WHEN '' '''

FOR STUDENT JADE CALVIN-NAU, 24, ' FIND MY ' HELPS HER remain connected with friends. In college, the app was as much about safety as it was about socializing.

She and her friends checked it to make sure everybody got home safe after a night out or to see whether they could meet up.

''Everybody knew where everybody was at all times,'' she said. ''There was no reason for anybody to be like, 'Where you at? ' You could just check.''

As location sharing through apps like Find My has proliferated in recent years, they have become a staple in some friendships - ostensibly for safety but with the side effect of complicated dynamics between friends.

The impact is particularly noticeable among Generation Z and millennials, the first generation to come of age with the possibility of knowing where their peers are at all times.

It has changed how friends communicate with one another and blurred lines of privacy. Friends now, sometimes unwittingly yet obsessively, check one another's locations and bypass whole conversations -about where somebody is, what they are doing or how their days are going -when socializing. All of that information can be gleaned from Find My.

Although Find My is not marketed as a social experience, sharing locations has become a test of sorts, much like being included on a close friends list on Instagram or on a private story on Snapchat can signal closer friendships.

Location sharing isn't new. In 2011, Apple released Find My Friends. In 2013, 7 percent of US adults said they checked into locations on social media or shared their locations with friends, according to Pew Research Center.

This year, 69 percent of Gen Z and 77 percent of millennials said they activated location-sharing features at least sometimes, compared with 62 percent of U.S. adults in general, according to Harris Poll.

BUT what can be startling - and harder to quantify - is how widely younger people share their location information. Some say that they track a dozen or more friends on the app, and that those friends track them back.

Those features are not limited to just Find My. Dating, food delivery and ride hailing apps often ask for access to location data. Facebook's Messenger, Snapchat's Snap Map and third-party apps like the family-oriented Life360 -all available on iPhones and Android phones - offer real-time location-sharing features.

And location sharing is built into some smartphones. Starting in 2015, Find My Friends came automatically installed in iPhones. In 2019, it and Apple's device locating apps Find My iPhone and Find My Mac were rolled into stand-alone. Find My Google Maps, which comes preinstalled in Android phones, has a similar-location-sharing feature.

As with check-in on Facebook or location tagging on Instagram and Twitter, users opt into location sharing on Find My. But unlike those features, Find My shares real-time location after users opt in, with the option to share for one hour, until the end of the day or indefinitely.

With Find My, ''you aren't actively choosing to do something as you reach a certain location because you're constantly sharing your location,'' said Michael Saker, a senior lecturer in digital sociology at City, University of London.

As a result, ''there's an intimacy that's intertwined with that act,'' he added. ''There's a verification of being friends''.

But sharing locations can come with privacy concerns, especially if users are not aware or do not consent to whom they share their locations with, and for how long, said Eva Galperin, cybersecurity director at Electronics Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group.

"Even if users consent at first, expectations among friends can make it more difficult to opt out,'' she said.

''People do this sort of indefinite data sharing because it's normalized within their immediate family or friend group,'' she said. ''No one has normalized pushing against that sharing.''

Asked for comment, a spokeswoman for Apple referred to a support page for Find My with instructions on how to start and stop sharing locations.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on Socials, Technology and the World, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Kalley Huang.

With respectful dedication to the World, and then Students, Professors and Teachers. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

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