Stalking bad guys for good


I found this TechCrunch piece fascinating in how technology rapidly morphs itself. While people get all 1984 Orwellian about the implications of location-based services that utilize the GPS in a cell phone to beam out your location, here someone uses it to nab the bad guy.

Yesterday, Silicon Valley's local CBS affiliate ran a story (video here) about a woman getting her purse snatched. But what's interesting is the way she got it back: With an assist from Google Latitude.

You see, in her purse, her phone had Google's location-based social networking service installed, and it was updating the location of her phone in real-time. So even though the thief hopped in a car, when the girl called her sister, she was able to tell police exactly where the criminal was. They arrested the man and got the girl's purse back.

Read the whole thing. I'm not sure I'm completely comfortable with all aspects of constantly beaming my location, but I've dabbled a bit with Latitude. I am awaiting the iPhone app to get deeper into it. However, more and more iPhone apps use the GPS info.

Do you have concerns location-based services? Would you want your Facebook status to update with your location? This and more is coming. Google's already signed up over million users for Latitude.