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Foursquare changes privacy policy, will show your full name

Foursquare is changing its privacy policy, and will show your full name and share more of your data with businesses.

Foursquare is changing its privacy policy. From 28 January, if you check-in using the service, your full name will be displayed, whereas at the moment it usually just shows your first name and last initial.

People owning venues signed up to the service will also have access to more of your data, Foursquare said in an email to customers, CNET reports.

On showing your full name instead of just first name and last initial, the Foursquare email said: "In the original versions of Foursquare, these distinctions made sense. But we get emails every day saying that it's now confusing."

But don't worry if you're not happy with your full name being on show across the service, you can change it in the settings menu. You can also opt out of the option to share more data with venue owners.

At the moment, businesses can see where else you've checked in during the last three hours. Once the changes are in effect, they'll be able to see your activity over more hours, though Foursquare didn't say how many more.

Your recent activity is on show to help store owners "identify their customers and give them more personal services or offers" according to Foursquare. "But a lot of businesses only have time to log in at the end of the day to look at it."

It's good Foursquare is giving us the option of backing out of these changes. I think maybe it learned a thing or two from Instagram's recent pr disaster. The photo-sharing service changed its terms and conditions just before Christmas, giving itself the right to sell your snaps to advertisers without having to pay you a penny. But following the furore from users -- including Kim Kardashian, no less -- it pulled a reverse ferret.

What do you think of Foursquare's changes? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.