Please Rob Me is the name of the site, and they literally list all vacant homes via Twitter and FourSquare updates. People actually want you to know that they are not home – a pretty scary thought, especially with the open nature of the social web. This sweet website has undertaken the responsibility of making people more aware of what they are doing. And now they are ready to take it to the next level. PleaseRobMe.com is offering their website to a professional organization that specializes in online privacy awareness, issues, and solutions.
Burglars are now tapping into social media networks to gain wider targets. Mashable shares statistics from a British insurance and investment firm Legal and General who found that 40% of social media network users share their holiday and travel plans online. In addition to that, most people do not regulate or background check their followers, which can also inevitably lead to burglary.
Podcaster Israel Hyam thinks the probable cause of a burglary in his home was because of his own Twitter updates:
I would not blame social media sites for festering such crimes. It is our responsibility to use our common sense. I would equate location sharing to leaving your door unlocked. Twitter, Facebook and the such are public websites. Their privacy policies are constantly subject to change. It is our job not to expose ourselves.
Nonetheless, location sharing is popular. In an effort to understand why people do it, I came across a comment by mediaczar on a post at The Next Web. There he explains a number of reasons why this is all simply just a hype. While he has a number of valid points, I’m not so sure I am convinced.