PingPal: Privacy-Protected Positioning of Friends for Any Mobile App
Fredrik Beckman, Andreas Ekengren, Jonas Hallin
Knowing where our friends and family are is a basic human need. If nothing else, the many related apps and services available today serve as proof of this point. But positioning can also be misused. Posting updates on social media with location tagging has become a stalkers favourite tool, and let’s not forget the never-ending debate on government agencies spying. There is clearly a need for an easy-to-use, privacy-protected alternative.
Positioning as a dialog – a revolutionary but simple positioning technology: Positions are only shared when requested and only between two mutually consenting pals. No constant tracking. No central storage. Just people meeting their basic need to know where others are.
Maximum privacy – protected positioning: We only store phone numbers on our servers as user IDs. Positions, pings, and so on are never stored unless they are needed for technical purposes. The pinged end-user controls when and with whom his or her positions are shared.
Cross-plattform, Cross-App positioning: The PingPal API has been implemented with native modules for iPhone, Android, and web technologies with fully transparent functionality. Any platform or PingPal-based app can ping any other.