I’m researching for a paper about privacy and Facebook (I won’t go into details just yet), and I came across this quote from Time magazine in 1991:

“In the not too distant future, consumers face the prospect that a computer somewhere will compile records about every place they go and everything they purchase,” says Democrat Bob Wise of West Virginia, who heads the House subcommittee that oversees the government’s use of data. “I’m not sure this is the vision of the future that will make Americans comfortable.”

So not only do computers know everywhere we go and (almost) everything they purchase, but we willingly and happily give up that information (Foursquare, Blippy). But it’s not without its limitations – Foursquare is still a minority interest; Blippy stopped being a credit card purchase sharing app; and Beacon went down in a blaze.