Foursquare Privacy Change to Reveal Full Names

The social checking service Foursquare is changing its privacy policies to show user's full names when they check in at locations instead of just their first name and last initial. Business owners will also have more time to view information about customers that checkin at their establishments, but Foursquare offers ways to limit what others see.

Foursquare to reveal more about you next yearFoursquare to reveal more about you next year

In an email to users, Foursquare stated,

Currently, Foursquare sometimes shows your full name and sometimes shows your first name and last initial ("John Smith" vs. "John S."). For instance, if you search for a friend in Foursquare, we show their full name in the results, but when you click through to their profile page you don't see their last name.

Business that use Foursquare have been limited to seeing checkins from the past three hours, but will now be able to see more. The company said it's making the change because many businesses have time to see who checked in only at the end of the day.

Users that don't want their last name visible when they checkin can change that through the Foursquare settings by updating their full name option so it doesn't include a last name. Users can also block businesses from seeing their information by unchecking "Let venue managers see when I check in to their business, or when I am one of their best customers" in Foursquare's privacy settings.

The company also posted its new policy online, and plans to enact the changes on January 28, 2013.