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Australian Facebook users can now tell their friends where they are by checking into its Places service. The company said that privacy controls are in place to prevent users from abusing this service.

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Launched in the US, Canada and Japan a couple of weeks ago, Facebook Places allows a user to share where they are in real time and find new places that their friends have discovered.

Facebook has assured that users can choose whether or not to share their location when you check in at a place. Users can also tag friends who are with them but only if their settings allow it. Users can also be able to report any place that has incorrect information, a duplicate, is abusive or permanently closed.

Other privacy settings in place include not being able to tag someone who’s not a friend, holding the “Check in” function until a user agrees to the disclosure or when friends are allowed to “check in” on your behalf and a special provision for minors that will only show a minor’s location to their contacts even when the setting is set to ‘Everyone’.

“We’re taking this even further, to applying to all posts when a minor is tagged. In updates that involve minors, the minor’s name will only show to the minor’s friends. We’re restricting who can see minors in the ‘Here Now’ section on the place’s Page. Minors will only ever show up to their Friends – not to anyone else who is also checked in there,” said the company.

Facebook Places is now available either through the Facebook for iPhone application or for advanced mobile devices through Facebook’s mobile site touch.facebook.com.

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