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how ‘easy’ it is to aggregate all the seemingly small and innocent pieces of data people are sharing

April 4, 2011

26-year-old Yiannis Kakavas has invented Creepy, an application that he describes as a “geolocation information aggregator,” thinq.co.uk reports. What that means: Type in someone’s Flickr or Twitter account into Creepy, and it will cultivate all the information available from the user’s photos or tweets and draws a map of their locations at the time of posting. If you feel that this is an invasion of privacy, keep in mind that all the information used is already public. Scary, huh?

Unbeknownst to many Twitter and Flickr users, “Images shared on the service via sites like Twitpic and Yfrog are often taken on a smartphone — which…records the location information in the EXIF data of the image.” Creepy just finds that info automatically and produces a map of where said images were taken and tweets were made:

While the location of an individual tweet might not reveal much, visualising a user’s history on a map reveals clusters around their home, their workplace, and the areas they hang out. Everything a stalker could need, in other words.

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