ARTICLE: Just How Creepy is 'CREEPY'? A Test Drive

Discussion in 'Travel Security' started by Funtodoimpossible, Apr 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Funtodoimpossible
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    Funtodoimpossible Gold Member

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    You probably know that some Internet and cell phone applications like Foursquare or Twitter can broadcast your location to the world. And you might know that Web sites with names like PleaseRobMe and ICanStalkYou have been created with shock value in mind to call attention to the potential consequences of broadcasting such information. But those sites picked on random individuals and exposed their whereabouts one at a time.

    A new software tool created by Greek programmer Yiannis Kakavas goes much farther in the shock category. Called “Creepy,” Kakavas' tool makes it easy to gather all the location-based digital breadcrumbs that people leave online and plot them on a map. The map and associated time stamps make it easy to discern their routines -- “It looks like Bob goes to this coffee shop every Friday morning around 10:30” -- a tool of incalculable use to a would-be stalker. For Web users who loyally leave breadcrumbs everywhere ("Now at Whiskey Bar!" "Now at Park Diner," "Finally home") it's possible to recreate much of their daily lives using Creepy.

    What's more, unlike ICanStalkYou, users can search for any Foursquare, Twitter or Flickr user they want. Kakavas tool also adds a handy handle-search tool, in case you only know your stalking subject by their real name.

    <snip>

    http://redtape.msnbc.com/2011/04/just-how-creepy-is-creepy-a-test-drive.html

    In case anyone hasn't realized yet about the potential dangers of broadcasting your every location to the world. Creepy shows how easy it can be for someone to identify where you go and when.
     
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  2. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Thats why I dont understand why people use twitter and face book to telegraph their every move. Why draw the attention???? I've even read accounts where cars are broken into at mall parking lots, GPS units are stolen and then the thieves hit your HOME button and go right to your house with a great probability of not finding someone at home. Nice world we live in.
     
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  3. BeachMiles
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    BeachMiles Gold Member

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    Thanks for the heads up. I am pulling my battery out right now.
     
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  4. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    You should make your home address the police station!!
     
  5. catgirl
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    catgirl Gold Member

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    Omg, this is totally creepy. I rarely post on FB anymore and I haven't posted my locations or whereabouts in a very long time and I glad I stopped that practice (just using the status updates, not the fancy Foursquare, etc). People posting their whereabouts is a potentially scary situation and this post drives it even closer to home. I didnt even know the above websites even existed. Guess I need to get out more, figuratively speaking.

    All I can say is wow.
     
  6. N965VJ
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    N965VJ Silver Member

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    This really doesn't surprise me; the internet is wonderful for aggregating information. I remember people being surprised when DejaNews showed up in the 90s archiving everything that had been posted on Usenet. A good rule of thumb is to really think about how useful or entertaining it is to share personally identifiable information when all is said and done. ;)
     
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  7. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    I have never subscribed to the foursquare and check in applications. Many of my friends are into it, and I just don't think an occasional free appetizer or fifty cent coupon is worth all the information being provided in return. It is creepy
     
  8. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Of course this all goes double or triple for people who travel regularly. It's one thing to spout out the occasional random location about town - unless you're a serious creature of habit or just blasting stuff out continuously your exposure is at least semi-limited. When you're broadcasting "I'm out of town for a while" on a regular basis, that can bring additional considerations into play, particularly if you're just as public about your place of residence.
    Could always throw up a dummy account to do such checking-in with if there is a reasonable incentive provided, and use it with great care.
     
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  9. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    Not that easy! They still get data you don't want them to have. I am admittedly bad with logging off one account, before accessing another, but enjoy the convenience of access. On MP, I inadvertently hit the recommend key on my handheld and all of a sudden, facebook which has NO connection to the handle/email here has a post that I'm recommending the MP thread. THAT is a connection I never authorized, and that is the type of access foursquare, etc all have when you like/check-in or do anything else these days. Sucks but that is what they've done. I limit liking, et al as much as I can (and know I could be more effective by signing off regularly from each service)
     
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  10. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I agree that it's tricky, and probably should have emphasized the "great care" part of things a bit more. There is a huge push to link up all sorts of social media these days, and it certainly does take a lot of care to keep things separate if you want them that way yet still want to participate.
     
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  11. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    Welcome to my research.... Saw a really scary talk this week about tourism in Estonia and tracking visitors using cell phone traces they get from cell phone companies to track tourism. Note to self- never use cell phone in Estonia.
     
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  12. N965VJ
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    Could that be defeated by turning off the GPS function?
     
  13. IMGone
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    I would think they could still approximate with the cell tower usage information, just like using google maps with and without the gps feature turned on
     
  14. Travel2Food
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    Travel2Food Silver Member

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    I've discovered that if you're logged in to Facebook's mobile client that it WILL do what you describe above - it will also auto-log-you-in to other forums where you have no account set up. I learned that the hard way when I brought up a vendor site to locate their nearest dealer, and found their home page asking me to comment on their forums w/my Facebook ID. I now log off of facebook mobile if for some reason I find a need to use it.

    Facebook is evil.
     
  15. Lalala
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    Lalala Silver Member

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    I'm beginning to very much believe this. Considering taking it off my phone and adding it when I really need it. The photo upload capability is so lame with the iphone, I just mail fb the pictures I take. If I wanted to do an fb status update without the app on my phone, I could just hashtag on twitter and bore the same people (more or less) twice with my so called ordinary, yet extraordinary life.
     
  16. IMGone
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    You could access FB by signing in/out of FB via your browser, but a reminder to log out each time or there is no difference due to the cookies left behind.

    btw - that quote was from Travel2Food not me
     
  17. Exiled in Express
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    free download: https://github.com/ilektrojohn/creepy/downloads

    It stalked me to a place I have never been. What did interest me is that it located me 5 blocks from one of my recent Facebook check-ins based on searching my twitter account name. Those are linked in no way including email address.
     
  18. mevlannen
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    mevlannen Silver Member

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    Back in the old days of time-sharing accounts on mainframe systems we all routinely logged-out of the systems when we were finished whatever work we were doing. The discipline of logging-out from Facebook or other potentially-intrusive Web services surely could not possibly any more difficult than the daily log-outs we used to do.

    Get in the habit of logging-out: it'll do wonders for your peace-of-mind.
     

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