Although widely reported a few weeks ago, given my previous post, I think it is worth mentioning this site, pleaserobme.com. It is essentially a feed for Four Sqaure/Twitter, showing where people have left home. Naturally the UK right wing press were up in arms about this site calling it ‘irresponsible’. It isn’t irresponsible. It’s very responsible actually.
At the moment there are some radio ads in the UK encouraging people to be more secure at home. A couple are just checking arrangements before they go out, so make sure the back door is unlocked, the lap top is on show by the window and so on. Clearly, this ad is making a point. Do the Daily Mail think that is responsible, as it obviously ‘explains’ how to make your house attractive to robbers?
When it comes to pleaserobme.com, the point they are making is that this information is completely open, and all they have done is aggregate some of this information. Any self respecting robber (assuming that there such a thing as a ‘self respecting’ one), could do exactly the same. You may be thinking ‘but robbers are too stupid or lazy to do that’. Well you have to look at the effort put into phishing attacks, spam emails and stolen credit card information sales to see that when it comes to the world of the internet, the persistence and ingenuity of thieves is almost limitless.
pleaserobme.com any more doesn’t actually give out people’s home addresses. What it does is clearly shows easy it is, with mobile social networking, for people to become complacent about the information they give out.