Foursquare's New Privacy Policy Will Allow It To Share More User Data

1 January 2013, 9:22 pm EST By Khurram Aziz email: Mobile & Apps

In the wake of the Instagram terms of service update debacle, Foursquare has become the latest location-based social networking Web site to introduce broad changes to the way it handles user data. Going forward, Foursquare promises it will display the full name of users every time they "check-in" to a location, as well as give venue owners increased access to users' check-in data.

The service announced the change in an e-mail and said that the new privacy policy will come into effect from Jan. 18, 2013.

"This is great for helping store owners identify their customers and give them more personal service or offers," read Foursquare's e-mail, per Tech Crunch. "But a lot of businesses only have time to log in at the end of the day to look at it. So, with this change, we're going to be showing them more of those recent check-ins, instead of just three hours worth."

Last week, Instagram got into trouble with its users when it announced plans for new terms of service and privacy policy that would come into effect in January, allowing the photo sharing service/site to sell its users' photos to advertisers without paying the users any compensation. The change led to widespread protest across the Internet, with celebrities, including its most followed user Kim Kardashian, threatening to close their account.

The incident led to an embarrassing climb-down from the photo-sharing app, with its CEO Kevin Systrom having to clarify Instagram's policy on the company blog as well as retract the offending clause in its updated terms of service. Foursquare has explained its updated privacy policy on its Web site, detailing exactly how it plans to use customer data.

After the privacy policy changes take effect, all users' full names will be displayed everywhere across the service, but Foursquare says users will still have control of the name displayed by altering their "full name" in their settings. Users can also opt out from letting venue owners see their check-in information.

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