We Know Your House is a new website that wants to show the world just how much of their personal privacy they are exposing online. The website has a real-time feed that reveals the addresses of Twitter users by finding tweets from users that are admittedly at home and linking to Twitter’s geolocation data.
Sound familiar? Well, that’s because it is. Please Rob Me had a similar idea with Foursquare posts. While very much the same, We Know Your House is a bit hypocritical — it promotes the safety of Twitter users by blatantly exposing their personal information on their feed. Although, to be fair, the website does use stars (*) to help mask the names of Twitter users and their home addresses.
“In a connected society like today, people share way too much about themselves, which has never been a good thing,” the site’s creator(s), who wish to remain anonymous, said. “The site was created to show it’s really dumb to check in at home, or say you’re at home with locations enabled. People need to understand this, whether they like it or not, and a site of this nature attracts attention and gets results.”
We Know Your House uses Twitter’s Search API to gather their tweets (a simple search query like ‘at home’ will do the trick). Then, it separates the tweets that have geolocation data attached. The data provided is given in latitude and longitude points. The website then converts this into actual street addresses.
We Know Your House has a good point in what they are trying to do — show people just how much information they are unknowingly sharing online. As you can see in the paragraph above, it doesn’t take much to decipher where some Twitter users live, all anyone needs to know is if they have their geolocation option on. Many social networks have this option with a default to on, so it can easily and often go unnoticed.
To turn off your geolocation data on Twitter:
1. Sign-in at Twitter.com
2. Click on your account (the headshot icon on the upper right corner)
3. Click on Settings
4. Scroll down to Tweet Location
5. Make sure the box next to “Add a location to my Tweets” is UNchecked
6. Save Changes
If you have had the geolocation option on before, it might also be wise to the use the Delete all location information button in the Tweet Location section. This will delete all geolocation data from your past tweets.
If you are worried about landing on the We Know Your House website, you can easily opt-out. Simply visit optout.weknowyourhouse.com and type in your Twitter handle and click on Continue.
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