Where Have I Been?

The following was originally posted by our sister company, Inflection Point Global,  at http://inflectionpointglobal.com/where-have-i-been


Earlier this week, I decided to cyber-stalk myself using data available from my Instagram feed. I was both curious about the public footprints I’ve left behind and wanted to test out some ideas we’re working on for upcoming products. Surprisingly, what I found was actually pretty spooky…

First, I mapped all of my Instagram photos at a macro level. Each of those markers on the map below is a photo. At a glance, you can tell where I live and where I like to travel.

It gets far more interesting though when you zoom into Boston on the map. Because Instagram tags each photo with the exact latitude and longitude coordinates of where the photo was posted from, you can see clusters and patterns start to appear. 

As you click each marker on the map, the actual photo appears and it becomes extremely easy to discern things like: where my office is, where I went to graduate school (and when) and where I live now.

While I am very conscientious not to post photos of my kids (out of respect for their privacy and safety), I have unwittingly disclosed our family’s fondness for inflatable yard art. Complete with the exact latitude and longitude coordinates of my front yardand thus leaving our precious inflatable bunny wide open to snoopin yard art thieves.

From start-to-finish, this project took less than five minutes and I intentionally only used Instagram data so as to demonstrate the risk of exposing even small amounts of personal details online. However, it is very straightforward to overlay additional contextual data from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to create a full composite of an individual and their family.

Now imagine this type of information in the hands of a stalker, pedophile or identity thief.

Feel free to reach out to me if you are interested in learning more about how the latest features in the nPowered Social API can you help your customers get full visibility and control over their social network footprint.

Chris Crosby
Chris is the cofounder and Managing Director of SociallyActive. He is also the CEO of Inflection Point Global. Check out his personal blog at http://chrisjcrosby.com where he writes about startups, leadership and negotiation.
Chris Crosby
Chris Crosby

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