Most Internet users don't want to 'check in'

Jacquise Dilligard tries out her new Palm Pre smartphone at a Sprint store in Washington, D.C.


JEREMY HOBSON: You may be interested to hear that I've checked into
the Frank Stanton studios in Los Angeles. Or maybe you could care less. Checking into places online is part of something called geo-location services. But a study out this morning from the Pew Research Center finds it's not for everyone.

From Silicon Valley Marketplace's Steve Henn explains.

Steve Henn: I have this app on my iPhone that lets me hold it up in the air and see pictures of people who are tweeting nearby. One click gives me directions to exactly where they are. And these aren't my friends -- they're just random folks attached to photos.

Aaron Smith: Certainly at the moment it's the geeks and the techies and your typical early adopters who are most likely to be using these applications.

Aaron Smith wrote the Pew report. He found that only 4 percent of Americans online use these kinds of apps.

Smith: Obviously there are some privacy issues and a lot of folks may not necessarily want everyone to know where they are at all hours of the day.

But investment and hiring in this new industry booming. Marc Rotenberg is with the Electronic Privacy Institute.

Marc Rotenberg: Advertisers and service providers are very interested in getting access to information about where users are.

And Rotenberg thinks that just freaks people out.

In Silicon Valley, I'm Steve Henn for Marketplace.

HOST: For a deeper dive into Pew report, check out the Marketplace Tech Report.

About the author

Steve Henn was Marketplace’s technology and innovation reporter for the entire portfolio of Marketplace programs until December 2011.


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