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Dublin: 7°C Tuesday 25 January 2022

How much information do you give away using social media?

A new website shows just how easy it is to find out where you live based on what you tweet.

Image: Martin Keene/PA Wire via PA

IF YOU FIND yourself somewhere nice this weekend, would you be tempted to let the world know by using your social media tool of choice to ‘check in’?

What if you checked in again when you went home. Would you give it a second thought?

The website weknowyourhouse.com may make you start to think twice about doing it again, however. Calling itself a  ‘social network privacy experiment’, it searches Twitter for tweets that contain the phrase ‘at home’ and takes the location information, if any, that accompanies it.

This location information, in the form of latitude and longitude values, is turned into an address using a process called geocoding, which essentially takes these numbers as inputs and spits out a human readable address – potentially your address.

At this point, all that’s required is Google Street View, which the site then uses to get a picture of the building at that address.

The message to users on the explainer page of the experimental site is simple:

A general piece of advice is don’t check in at your own home because you’re sharing that information with the world.

Scary, but true.

View: In pictures: The world’s loneliest places* – captured on Google Street View >

About the author:

Paul Hyland

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