We Love GPS: First Coupons, Now Finding Love

Navigating a road trip by GPS is ideal. Shopping for sales, like with Yowza!!, the mobile couponing system that uses GPS to locate discounts are even better. But how about finding love? Apparently, some dating companies are now using GPS to help singles find potential mates.

According a recent article in the Globe, more and more dating sites, like Skout and Are You Interested? are coming out with mobile applications that use GPS to match and alert singles of potential mates lurking nearby.

The article tells us the tale of Dick and Jane finding love in Starbucks. Ideally, if they were in the vicinity of each other in a certain location and they’ve set preferences to their likes and dislikes and who they were looking for in a partner, the “technology” would play Mr. Match Up. Not a chance encounter or an eagerly married girlfriend looking to hook you up.

While in theory this sounds great and is already being used (Google Latitude), when it’s not a friend that you’re tracking down, but a stranger–ethical concerns arise.

With stalker risks in mind, most will only reveal the distance between users, not their exact location. They also let users block others if they become pesky.

Add in the issue of misusing demographic information for marketing and surveillance issues and we have a healthy debate going on about navigating a new age of dating.  What are your thoughts about chance encounters and GPS?