Home > News > Keeping the baddies informed of your whereabouts – geotagging & location services

Keeping the baddies informed of your whereabouts – geotagging & location services

February 23rd, 2010

For those of you who love new web technology – you may already be using location services on your iPhone or Blackberry, or using geotagging with your social online tools such as Twitter.

It’s an awesome new way to keep track of where you and your friends are, however have you considered the potential dangers?  What if someone you didn’t know or trust could see your current location, and essentially know that you are NOT at home?

This week, there have been a few reports of new websites which aggregate Twitter location posts – and list potential targets based on their location.  Take a look at PleaseRobMe.com or robmenow.com which offers such a service.

The founders of PleaseRobMe.com, claim to have built the site in order to raise awareness of the dangers of posting your location online. 

“The danger is publicly telling people where you are,” a message on the site reads.  “This is because it leaves one place you’re definitely not … home.”

“The goal of this website is to raise some awareness on this issue and have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz etc,” the site explains. 

“Our intention is not, and never has been, to have people burglarised.”


Other Location Service Considerations

There are other new GPS technology offerings out there such as Google Latitude, and Apple me lost my iphone location services, however these currently appear to have effective controls in place to ensure only people you know and trust which you invite can see your location.

geotagging robmenow

However, we’ll have to keep an eye on these solutions to see if any cracks appear.

Apple’s Mobileme Naughtiness…

I have seen people having fun by covertly configuring someone else’s iPhone without their knowledge so that the location services for me.com are enabled. Currently you can track multiple iPhone devices using a single me.com account and view the location of all iPhones configured with the account using the the Apple “find my iPhone” service!Useful if you want to know if your colleagues are in the office or have already gone home, but also scary if someone else you don’t trust does this. Easy way to fix this is to remove the me.com account details from your phone, but you have to go looking for this.

So now you are aware of the risks of geotagging and location services – you have been warned!

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