There’s a surveillance camera on every corner and in every store. There’s a smartphone camera in every pocket. Drones are flying over our homes. And now Facebook wants to get more personal.
The social media giant is sending out free Bluetooth beacon devices to all US businesses that ask for one. Starting next week, they can set up these beacons. Through a user’s mobile device, they know when the potential shopper is at or near the store. Though Facebook insists no personal connection will be collected, they can still tell which stores you visit and when you visit them. Businesses can send information about themselves to a user’s Facebook Newsfeed through their smartphone, especially when the shopper is nearby. The shopper’s location isn’t only determined through these Bluetooth beacons, but through GPS, WiFi technology, and cellular networks. Facebook is already partnering with businesses in New York City for trial runs with this Bluetooth beacon tracking. Only Apple devices can carry this system, but Google/Android is working to get in on this. Obviously this system is in a very early stage. So they’re kinks to work out, like pushing this to smaller businesses or taking this international.
You know businesses are going to jump on this. They’re around 1.35 billion users on Facebook globally; over 210 million of those in the US and Canada. Who wouldn’t want a free Bluetooth device from one of the most successful businesses of our generation? I can already see businesses offering free or discounted deals through this move. They’re assuring us no personal information will be compromised. I’ll believe it when I see it. But some say Facebook is getting too addictive and overreaching as it is. Some say it’s getting too big brother and getting too much power. So is the latest Facebook move good business sense? Or is my opening statement the honest truth?