HOUSTON – You give it a name, it’ll track down photos, tweets, Facebook posts, etc. and then put it all on map.
The Guardian reports a security firm has developed a program that tracks a person’s every move on social media, but the new software hasn’t been released to the public or any government -- at least not yet.
The newspaper says “Riot” harvests social networks and websites for data about any person. It then analyzes it to show you messages and relationships you may have otherwise missed.
In a demo video released to The Guardian, Raytheon showed how one of its employees and his friends could be tracked by location -- all because of the geo location features saved within each photo they took with their smartphone. Riot places all the located data, including photos, tweets, and “check-ins,” on a spider diagram on a map.
Obviously privacy advocates aren’t excited about this program, saying it could be misused. But the company that made it says the FBI has already expressed an interest in having software similar to this so it can track down bad guys and their accomplices.
The software is perfectly legal as it relies on “open” social network accounts. If you have your Facebook page, etc. locked down and you’ve gone through all your privacy settings, that should be enough to keep it from scanning your online activity. The trouble is, some of your friends and the messages they send to you and tag you in may not be locked down. It depends on their privacy settings as well.
In a non-scientific survey on the KHOU 11 News Facebook page, about 82 percent of readers said they felt this type of program should not be allowed. Another 9 percent said it was okay for government use, while the remaining 9 percent said anyone should be allowed to use it.
Read the full report: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/10/software-tracks-social-media-defence