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Foursquare will now show users' full names

6:16 PM, Jan 1, 2013   |    comments
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Foursquare is changing its privacy policy so that all users will have to share their full name on the location-based social network. Some users already do, but others go by a first name with last name initial. That's going to end, starting Jan. 28.

The change was announced in an email sent to users. Foursquare also said in the same email that businesses using the social network, now limited to seeing customers who have checked in in the last three hours, will be able to  have more time to review those logs.

"This is great for helping store owners identify their customers and give them more personal service or offers," Foursquare said in the email. "But a lot of businesses only have time to log in at the end of the day to look at it. So, with this change, we're going to be showing them more of those recent check-ins, instead of just three hours worth."

Foursquare notes, that, "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."

The extra-diplomatic tone of the email likely was shaped by the recent Instagram debacle over user privacy.

Foursquare, which says it has more than 25 million users worldwide now, with more than 3 billion check-ins, noted in the email that users who want to know more about the social network's privacy policy can find those details and others in its "Privacy 101" document online.

Suzanne Choney , NBC News

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