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Color App Gives New Meaning to Going Public

Location Based apps such as Gowalla or Foursquare provides users with a social experience that not only shows where they are at the moment and what they are doing, but also who they are with or near. But at least one new app is taking things a few steps further by locating users and sharing information about them, regardless of whether they are a friend or not. The new app, Color, debuted late last month to high interest and curiosity. Color describes itself as "a public photo and video-sharing app for groups." Color chooses who to share pictures with based on one of two things - either those within 100 feet of you or those that the app has deciphered to be the friends you hang out with the most, i.e. your "elastic network."

There are two notes of interest here. The first, is obviously that you aren't in control of who is looking at your pictures, which is not something that is generally popular at the moment. The second is that all of your pictures are available for viewing by the other app users, not just at the moment, but forever after and yes, even those pictures that may have been intended for solo viewing. Although during purchase of the app you are more than likely required to agree to this public display, one has to wonder what the privacy implications are for such an app. While it sounds like a shoe-in for the younger crowd, and certainly fun for sporting events or concerts, at least a handful of not-so-innocent uses come to mind, including but not limited to untoward advances by admirers or distribution of your photographic works on other websites without permission or even cyberbullying.

When a user downloads an app and is aware of the public access to his or her information, where is the privacy line drawn? If Color is a new generation of app, what precautions and warnings do you think are necessary to protect individuals from sharing more than they want to?

Share your thoughts in the comments section.