How scientists can manipulate us with games to gather data

Smartphones have turned us into an army of accidental data collectors, checking in at locations, taking photos, recording audio, even gauging network speeds wherever we go. This rich data can be used for research, but because people are creatures of habit, there are sometimes gaping blind spots.

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Your address book is mine: Many iPhone apps take your data

Path got caught red-handed uploading users’ address books to its servers and had to apologize. But the relatively obscure journaling app is not alone. In fact, Path was crucified for a practice that has become an unspoken industry standard.

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Foursquare finally makes its website as cool as its mobile apps

Location service Foursquare is showing off its new coat of paint. The company today unveiled a website redesign with a whole new experience for people sitting at their desks. What started as a check-in game all of a sudden seems a lot more like a formidable business in the making.

Questions answered by your location history: Who were you with?

The increasingly popular location-based mobile game Foursquare recently announced a new addition to its service. A history function now shows who you were with in addition to where you were at a particular time. You will have a record of all the friends you were with at the Grizzly Bear concert two months ago–and the friends you didn’t invite can see that, too. The function could prove to be more than just a tool for jealous spouses, though.