Please Don't Rob Me

Using Instagram to Determine Where a User Lives

#Privacy

Tue, Jul 22nd, 2014 12:00 by capnasty NEWS

The goal of Please Don't Rob Me is to show how easy it is to find out who an Instagram user is, where they live and whether they are at home, simply by using the Instagram subscription API. This project wants to educate users to be smarter about how they use and what they share on social media.

Each time someone uploads a photo with a hastag of our choosing, our server gets an instant notification. This notification contains the uploaded photo along with the user's details. From there our server runs a series of tests to see if we can extract a home address.

First, we try to extract a full name from the user's profile. Then, we enter than name in the Swedish online phone book and gather information on anyone with that name.

To verify who took the photo, we also query the user's 90 latest photos. These photos, containing GPS coordinates, are then compared with the addresses we got from the phone book.

If we have a match between the name and address of the user, we extract the information we need, alter the GPS-coordinates and upload to our site.

Something to remember is that we want to educate people, not harm them. We will never post your actual address on this site. However, we want you to be aware that we (and everyone else on the Internet) are capable of finding it.

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