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'I Can Stalk U': A 'Please Rob Me' for People Who Upload Photos to Twitter

As discussed here back in February, a website called "Please Rob Me" launched earlier this year with the mission of raising awareness of a possible downside of using the new geolocation services such as Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz, etc. As I described it at the time:

Those of you on Twitter have no doubt seen people using these services to announce things like, "I'm at the Grand Canyon" or "I'm the new mayor of the Reston Sport and Health Club."

Please Rob Me highlights the flip-side of these services: If you are at the Grand Canyon then you aren't at home. Its homepage states the site is "Listing all those empty homes out there," and features a real-time feed of "opportunities" (for robbers) in the form of people who have announced their locations through one of the geolocation services.

Please Rob Me recently decided to get out of the robbery-assistance business, stating on its home page that it is "satisfied with the attention we've gotten for an issue that we deeply care about," i.e., the perils of over-sharing.  Enter "I Can Stalk U."

I Can Stalk U is a new site using the Please Rob Me/"Scared Straight" approach. It mission is to teach the world that by uploading photos to Twitter, you may be inadvertently allowing your every movement "to be recorded and analyzed by anyone: from a government to a nosy neighbor."

I Can Stalk U says that after analyzing your photos, someone could find out:

  • Where you live
  • Who else lives there
  • Your commuting patterns
  • Where you go for lunch each day
  • Who you go to lunch with
  • Why you and your attractive co-worker really like to visit a certain nice restaurant on a regular basis

The site then provides specific information on avoid this by disabling "geotagging" on your smartphone.

Here is a screenshot from the current front page of I Can Stalk U, which collects the most recent Tweets containing uploaded photos and gives you a map link showing exactly where the person is located.


Posted by Bruce Carton on September 2, 2010 at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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