19 Feb 2010

Where you are also tells us where you aren’t

The combination of microblogging services like Twitter and location-aware social networking games on your mobile device like Foursquare is like the Red Bull and vodka of the internet – it’s one big party until your great-aunt’s end table is smashed.

Twitter, of course, enables its users to post short 140-character messages. Social networking games like Foursquare encourage players to post their precise location information in order to gain points – the more locations you “check in”, the more points you gain. These “check-ins” can also be automatically posted to a player’s Twitter or Facebook account.

A couple of Dutch developers have created a site called PleaseRobMe to point out the dangers of posting so much information on your whereabouts.

Don’t get us wrong, we love the whole location-aware thing. The information is very interesting and can be used to create some pretty awesome applications….  The danger is publicly telling people where you are. This is because it leaves one place you’re definitely not… home. So here we are; on one end we’re leaving lights on when we’re going on a holiday, and on the other we’re telling everybody on the internet we’re not home.

The creators of PleaseRobMe point out that users could be putting others around them at risk as well. Foursquare players, for example might also be posting location information for places they frequent…like the homes of friends and family.

The site – which took developers four hours to build – is a witty little reminder to consider the possible repurcussions of what we post online.

One Response

“Please rob me” – February 24, 2010 - Steve’s Aussie blog Says:

[…] magazine’s Velocity blog, CNET’s The Social and the Canadian privacy commissioner have profiled the […]

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