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Once upon a time, you could keep track of your friends’ and family’s whereabouts using Google Plus. But that was the complicated past. Today, Google debuted a new Android app that aims to simplify keeping tabs on loved ones.
Called Google Trusted Contacts, the app lets the most important people in your life request your location data from the app. If you fail to respond to the request, the app will automatically ping your loved one with your last recorded location. It’s effectively Google’s emergency location app.
Trusted Contacts seems to pose a boat load of security problems. For one, your location beacons are required to be switched on at all times, reporting your whereabouts to Google constantly.
Trusted Contacts allows users to keep tabs on loved ones’ current location, and their phone’s status
Additionally, you’ll have to ensure the contacts you select as “Trusted Contacts” are indeed trusted. These contacts will be able to see “basic information”, including when last you used or moved your phone, all the way down to the amount of battery remaining.
But obviously, those risks come with some pretty useful rewards.
It’s remarkably useful for parents who want to keep track of children, friends keeping track of others at festivals or events, or during more extreme situations, like the recent Johannesburg floods.
The app is available on Android right now, but an iOS version is still in development.