Have we lost the plot on privacy? New site shows empty homes ripe for robbing!

Yes it really does seem that we’ve lost the plot as far as privacy goes. I’m not just talking about security breaches at companies, or government personnel losing sensitive information…. I’m talking about you and I sharing far more data than ever we surely should.

I’ve not been a huge fan personally of the massive fashion of social networking, and obsessive Twitter type behaviour, and a new site hitting the news at the moment just goes to underline my concerns.

The site is pleaserobme.com … and yes, it very simply uses a Twitter API to capture a list of people using Twitter and foursquare, and who are declaring themselves to be away from home at the moment. The result is a list of addresses that are currently ripe for a robbing! A scary use of the geo-location information that social networking sites just love us to share.

I’m glad to say from my own perspective that I’m not on Twitter or FourSquare, and even those close to me have no idea whether or not I’m at home or not, until they ring and find out… and frankly, I prefer to keep it that way!

So being serious for just one moment, we do seriously need to take a look at our activities these days, particularly on the Internet, and realise that we all share a lot of information online. The important question is, of course, whether the information we provide can be pieced together to provide more information than we would wish to provide.

Thanks to the guys behind pleaserobme.com, the general public maybe getting a slightly rude awakening to the consquences of social networking habits. Time will of course tell as to whether this site changes habits or simply provides a few minutes comedy for people.


I'm passionate about technology, and particularly helping people make the most of it. I've spent the last 30 years helping others make the most of technology. My career started in IBM, but I choose to move into smaller business environments, to use a breadth of skills, and help businesses step change their IT services. My skills range from user based technology, through business systems (applications) to infrastructure. I also have a long background in IT security. I focus on what I consider to be "productive technology", i.e. adding genuine value to peoples lives. I'm not a big gamer, and don't hold much interest in what I consider to be disposable consumer technologies. During the day, you'll find me consulting with businesses or heading up an IT department. At the weekend, you'll find me sat at my Linux PC, writing PHP or Python code, or trying to help others on Twitter, this blog, or my YouTube channel: Artexic.