Google Maps Latest Feature Could Prolong Suffering Of Abused Spouses
As if people didn’t have enough ways to track each other, what with Facebook updates, messenger, texts, calls, and so on, Google Maps is also throwing its own service in the mix. In an upcoming update, users of Google Maps will be able to provide friends, families, neighbors, and stalkers their location in real-time. This may seem like a great idea at first, but many can easily see the potential problems too, especially when it comes to abusive relationships.
Being able to share one’s location can have its uses. Setting up a meeting certainly becomes easier if everyone knows where everybody is. Parents could also activate the function on the phones of their children when going out shopping so that they can find them again. All of these can be achieved while also having some control over the privacy settings, The Verge notes.
Now, the exact time when the feature will become available has not been revealed, but Google’s announcement post mentions that the worldwide rollout will be soon. Once it becomes available, users only need to tap the feature to let their friends know exactly where they are.
“On both Android and iOS, you’ll be able to share your real-time location with anyone,” the post reads. “And the people you share with will be able to see your location on Android, iPhone, mobile web, and even desktop.”
As useful as this feature might be, however, Forbes can already tell that it will also cause some issues. Parents with teenagers who consent to be tracked this way will have it easy, but what about those who really value their privacy? On that note, spouses might also disagree on whether or not they activate the functionality so that both are always aware of whether the other is.
It could even empower abusive spouses to exert even more control over the dominated party. Even though this is simply guesswork, at this point, an abusive partner could even use the service as a threat to prevent them from going to the authorities.