Seven years ago, location-based social networks started popping up so that people could share their experiences at particular locations. I couldn’t understand why people would use BrightKite and Foursquare to tell the world where they were. In fact, it made me ask that scary question, “Am I getting old?”
Of course, I was in the minority and before long GPS was spun into Twitter & Facebook. People love sharing where they are and what they’re doing. Sure, half of them probably don’t even know it is enabled. Personally, I am interested in privacy. I recall some like minded folks built a site called PleaseRobMe.com that shared the public posts to Twitter from these location-based networks. The site seems broken and hasn’t been updated for years, but now there’s search technology.
echoSEC is a site that allows you to draw a geo-fence an area and see all the posts in a given area. So, let’s say you want to case Larry Page’s mansion. He’s the current CEO of Google and has all of your data, what’s happening around his house?
Put in the location, click the “Select Area” button and draw a fence and bam you get results. Apparently, Steve Jobs lived in that neighborhood as well. All your data regardless of your rights and citizenship ends up at a NSA data center, but what information comes out of there? Let’s see.
Or perhaps you don’t care about privacy. Maybe you’re a pervert and you’re curious what inappropriate costumes girls wore for Halloween last year at a known party school. Pop in a date before you select an area and then see the results.
Welcome to the future. We left the light on because we saw you coming and that’s the kind of thing a thoughtful Big Brother does.