The New York Times reports on privacy questions concerning some bargain shopping online services:
Ever been in an unfamiliar neighborhood, hungry but without much cash in your pocket? Thatâ€™s where Cheapism would like to come in. The Web site, which helps you find bargains and inexpensive products, is now offering a â€œlocation-basedâ€ version.
Cheapism has teamed with the social networking site Foursquare to offer recommendations for a meal that wonâ€™t put a big dent in your wallet â€” with the added perk of telling you if, say, your friends liked it, and whether they happen to be there at the moment. […]
Hereâ€™s how it works: Letâ€™s say you are a Foursquare user who tracks Cheapism on your account. When you use the Foursquare app on your smartphone to â€œcheck inâ€ to a location â€” that is, you let your friends know where you are, electronically â€” Cheapism alerts you if there are nearby restaurants that it recommends. (Foursquare and its ilk let users accumulate points for repeated check-ins, which can eventually lead to discounts or coupons.) […]
Location-based services seem to be catching on, despite some uneasiness about their potential forÂ invasion of privacy. A recent survey by Comscore found that nearly 17 million mobile phone users used such â€œcheck inâ€ services, with 12 million doing so on smartphones like iPhones or Android phones.