Geo-tagging your pictures, tweets and foursquare checkins is cool. It lets your friends know where you are, shows others just “where” you took that awesome picture and nobody dears to doubt the fact that you have just become the mayor of your aunts bathroom in Foursquare. But these locations are DATA. Random, useless data that only has value at a certain time for a certain picture. Random data .. right ? WRONG ! The issue with “privacy” or the loss of it, is that people seldom are aware that random privacy information can be “glued together” into a very useful piece of information that could form a very correct (or very WRONG) profile of a certain user. Lets take these geo-tweets and foursquare checkins as an example and use a creepy application like … creepy ( Seriously, that is what its called ) that lets you ‘track’ a certain person around the globe. (or around his neighbourhood). Its a Linux app, that makes it EXTRA geeky and its amazing to see just how much “random bits of information” people put out there and just how much of this information you can piece together. Now this is quite a ‘harmless’ application ( I can just see the ‘NCIS Wisconsin’ team using this in their next episode ) but think of it. How much information are we really putting out there, and what data algorithms does it take to shape that data into a complete “image” of our digital or private lifestyle. Now we can all yawn and say : “Privacy is dead !” but what does that actually MEAN ? Sure, data mining company’s can “shape” that information into a “profile” of your shopping habits and try to sell you stuff you like ? But that is the most benign kind. What if a governement, or an employer uses this ? He might form a correct ‘image’ of just what you are up to. You’ve got nothing to hide ? Good for you .. but what if they get it WRONG ? What if the information they gather is put together in a complete fracked up way that gives an impression of your action in a way thats just not correct ? Think about it ?
So lets just all put on our tin foil hats (make sure you don’t crease them, the grey aliens HATE creases in tin foil) and download cree.py for Ubuntu.