Here in the not-so-crusty offices of The Curmudgeon, I have given the order to the staff to cease their tweets, at least any tweets that relate to this office. Paranoid, you say? Cautionary say I, and I’m not just whistling through my beak.
Here’s the deal: A man posted that he and his wife were “preparing to head out of town,” and then gave updates along the way of their journey, reported Elinor Mills on CNET news. The dude had about 2000 followers (I still don’t get why people would be interested in knowing stuff like when I’m taking a dump) so basically, he put a big sign on his front lawn reading “Gone to Kansas City. Nobody home. Burglars welcome!”
So when the Dude and the Mrs. Get home, they find their house burglarized, but the crooks didn’t take the normal, consumer electronics. They took the special, hi-grade stuff, the stuff he uses when he posts shit on….drumroll please…TWITTER! And that’s one of the reasons the whole thing looks mighty suspicious.
Loose Tweets Leave Sweets
But Crusty, you ask, how could they know where he lived and stuff like that there? Ha, ha, my innocent little Tweety birds, as Hamlet said, “There are more things in heaven and earth and the Internet, Tweety, than are dreamt of in your twitterosophy.” Or something like that. The point is, they (they being the bad dudes and chicks, you know, like Sylvester the cat) can find out anything. Mathew Honan explains it all for you in an article in Wired magazine:
Because the card in my camera automatically added location data to my photos, anyone who cared to look at my Flickr page could see my computers, my spendy bicycle, and my large flatscreen TV all pinpointed on an online photo map. Hell, with a few clicks you could get driving directions right to my place–and with a few more you could get black gloves and a lock pick delivered to your home.”
So that’s the theory, but would it work? He put the theory to the test, and stalked (this is just a test) a woman taking a picture in Golden Gate park with her iPhone. Searching the Flickr map and found one of her pics and verified it was her by looking at her photo stream. Then he looked at her photos on the Flicker map and saw a cluster of images in one spot. The shots were of an interior of what was likely her apartment (CNET, Elinor Mills).
If you’re a little confused by how all this works, just take my word for it that it does work and be careful what you write, post, and tweet on the Internet.
“Now I know where she lives,” he concluded in the wired article.
I’d like to thank you all for dropping by today. Now I know where you live.