There's Nothing (four)square About Google's New Parking App - The UpStream

There's Nothing (four)square About Google's New Parking App

posted Sunday Jul 11, 2010 by Cody Bailey

There's Nothing (four)square About Google's New Parking App

It seems Google just never knows enough about you. Well now they seem to be trying to build a list of your commonly visited places through their new Android app, Open Spot.

When you leave a parking lot, you run the Open Spot app and log the spot as open, then a nearby user can run the app and see the location on their map, thus finding a parking place. For each spot you mark you get awarded "karma points" which you can use to keep score against your friends. Of course with points being introduced, people are always going to find some way to cheat the system. Google is marking these people as "griefers" and they "have a couple of mechanisms available to make sure someone can't leave a bunch of fake parking spots."

As with anything developed by Google, you can guarantee the information is being stockpiled somewhere. Now Google claims that with the way they store the information, you cannot construct a list of parking habits of a specific user, or even see who it was that marked the spot to begin with. Now this seems a little out of character for Google. It is quite possible that Google is turning over a new leaf as far as privacy is concerned, but who knows.

This app reminds me of a simplified version of Foursquare, but just for parking spaces. I believe this app's striking resemblance to Foursquare isn't a coincidence and that Google has been keeping a close eye on the popular data collection service. This app could be a bit of a test run of something bigger that's yet to come.


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