Apparently, up until very recently, members of the U.S. armed forces have been allowed to tote around cell phones with Facebook Places enabled. The Navy has recently circulated a document asking personnel to rid their mobile devices of the application. This could have been the same one that the Air Force had distributed, as numerous media outlets reported yesterday.
According to a copy of this document forwarded to AllFacebook.com:
The main concern relating to the use of the application, is that it may inadvertently compromise the locality of a military user. Of significant note, users on operations or in Northern Ireland, are potentially putting themselves at risk by drawing attention to their exact whereabouts.
We apologize to the U.S. Navy for disclosing to our readers that something in Northern Ireland needs secrecy — if that compromises security, let’s hope that any time lag in the release of this document helps forces get more covert about their operations.
Anything that increases awareness of privacy settings makes everything on Facebook better — people deserve the right to choose how much information they reveal, or not. And that’s why we’ll share with you the entire document below. Readers, does learning that members of the U.S. Navy have Facebook applications on mobile devices influence your opinion about what the military is doing?