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'Please Rob Me' site exposes dangers of social network features

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 18 Feb 2010 7:06 User comments (6)

'Please Rob Me' site exposes dangers of social network features Dutch developers have set out to prove a point about the safety of certain social networking practices in a very public way. A new website they have constructed - Please Rob Me - lists information about empty homes gathered from Twitter. The site scrutinizes users of Foursquare, which is based on a person's current location in the real world.
"It started with me and a friend looking at our Twitter feeds and seeing more and more Foursquare posts," said Boy Van Amstel, one of PleaseRobMe's developers. "People were checking in at their house, or their girlfriend's or friend's house, and sharing the address - I don't think they were aware of how much they were sharing."

PleaseRobMe.com re-posts tweets from users who have chosen to alert the world of their whereabouts automatically on Twitter, which in turn reveals when they leave their homes. Of course the site does have a brief disclaimer explaining that it is not intended to be used as a tool to aid burglars.

"The website is not a tool for burglary," said Mr Van Amstel. "The point we're getting at is that not long ago it was questionable to share your full name on the internet. We've gone past that point by 1000 miles." He said that the site is basically just a Twitter search tool and nothing new, adding that anyone who can write HTML and a little javascript could create it.

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6 user comments

118.2.2010 12:45

Some could use these social network features to purposely entice burglars to break-in and burglarize them, so the owners can collect on insurance.

219.2.2010 14:23

I don't get this... Can someone explain to me why would anyone want to tweet or post the whereabouts of your neighbors? What's the point of monitoring when people leave their houses?

319.2.2010 15:31

I believe it is more referring to those obsessive people who twitter there OWN every move. Leaving the house, getting coffee, at work, driving BORING! ooo cute guy on subway etc etc etc
watch their feed for a couple days and you know their entire routine and can plan accordingly.

Originally posted by Gnawnivek:
I don't get this... Can someone explain to me why would anyone want to tweet or post the whereabouts of your neighbors? What's the point of monitoring when people leave their houses?

419.2.2010 16:34

Quote:
I believe it is more referring to those obsessive people who twitter there OWN every move. Leaving the house, getting coffee, at work, driving BORING! ooo cute guy on subway etc etc etc
watch their feed for a couple days and you know their entire routine and can plan accordingly.

Originally posted by Gnawnivek:
I don't get this... Can someone explain to me why would anyone want to tweet or post the whereabouts of your neighbors? What's the point of monitoring when people leave their houses?

Oh, that's just plain stupid... In that case, if their house got robbed, it's their fault, lol.

519.2.2010 16:42

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALbH63Ali9U

older but very funny lisa nova video makign fun of twitter, if ya liek you can also catchpart 2

620.2.2010 10:53

I'm guessing it'd probably make their Home Insurance cover invalid also.

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