Tuesday, August 21, 2012

WeKnowYourHouse.com and PleaseRobMe.com

This is amazing. WeKnowYourHouse.com and PleaseRobMe.com. This is social media openness run amuck, and gives new meaning to "openness." Remember stories of robbers checking for wakes, funerals, and weddings to determine when no one will be home, and use that information to rob those houses. Why anyone would broadcast, or narrowcast, his or her location using something like foursquare or any location-based service is beyond me.

I'm also hearing stories of how people claim they're safe because they don't use social networking. Then, someone checks their kids Facebook page and see that daddy's going to Bentonville, Arkansas, Well, there's only one reason to go to Bentonville, and this knowledge could be corporate intelligence.

We're publishing a book on data anonymization, which deals with this from an enterprise perspective, particularly PII and PHI. Supposedly, 87% of US citizens can be linked using zipcode, data of birth, and sex. So, by using publicly available information such as voter records and supposedly clean data on health insurance, it's possible to identify and tie an individual to a health record. There are many good reasons why PHI, for example, needs to be private. Yet, it's remarkedly easy to get it.

I don't know why it's so hard to increase users awareness of the dangers of the Web, and their willingness to barter PII for free access. I guess it's the free part.