FourSquare to show full names and share more data with businesses

Posted by Ken Kola

FourSquare is making changes to its privacy policy - and, unlike, say Instagram, has actually made them simple to understand. From January 28, users' full names will be displayed, and businesses given more customer data by default.

Currently, user names can take the form of either full names or simply first names and initials, which FourSquare believes is confusing. Users still have the option, though, of setting any 'full name' that they want - even a false one.

"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," says the company in an email to users.

"In the original versions of Foursquare, these distinctions made sense. But we get emails every day saying that it’s now confusing. So, with this change, full names are going to be public. As always, you can alter your ‘full name’ on Foursquare at https://foursquare.com/settings."

Meanwhile, the company is expanding the data it provides to businesses. Currently, they're only able to see the last three hours of check-ins, along with their most-recent and most-loyal users. Now, though, it's extending the time period further back, although it doesn't give details of how far.

"As always, if you’d prefer not to permit businesses to see when you check into their locations going forward, you can uncheck the box under ‘Location Information’ at https://foursquare.com/settings/privacy," says FourSquare.

The new privacy policy is here.