An App That Doesn't Try to Hide Its Dark Side: Creepy
Here's another "warning app" following in the footsteps of Please Rob Me, which scoured the web for geolocated tweets in which people indicated that they were not home, and aggregated them into a single page. It was meant as a social security exercise to bring people's attention to the privacy and security risks of broadcasting their whereabouts, especially when they are away from home.
Creepy grabs freely available geolocation information on photos posted in popular social networks and photo sharing sites and maps them to indicate where they were taken. According to the website,
By using this software, you accept that its intention is to raise awareness and to be used as an educational tool. Using creepy for any illegal or unethical purposes is strictly forbidden and the developer assumes no liability.My legalese-to-English translator translated that as "we're doing this to prove a point, and we acknowledge that it's dangerous. It is. Don't use it in that dangerous fashion." (Just enough to please the lawyers, no?)
It's creepy when you see it in action. Or at least I thought it was until Color launched a few weeks ago. Color proposes that you post pics when you're somewhere and it will aggregate them with pics other people have taken within your immediate vicinity. So now, not only can you broadcast that you're not home, you can interact with everyone in your immediate vicinity, because anonymity is bad and sharing is good.
So who knows? Now that Color scored a cool $41 Million in funding, Creepy might just get bought by Google and turned into some sort of social networking tool. Amazing how a little PR can convince people to give up their private personal information and consider compromising their security to use the latest shiny thing.
What do you think? Are you worried about your online security? Do you check in? With your kids? Do you broadcast when you're not home or home alone? Am I being too paranoid? (Let me fix my tinfoil hat before you answer)
Here's an interview with the app designer: