“We made it to Kansas City in one piece”; an innocent tweet which may have cost Israel Hyman his Mac Pro. The Arizona-based video editor was out of town seeing relatives when his house was burgled and his computer and two displays taken. Israel has blamed the incident on that single tweet, which also updated his Facebook status.
It’s unclear whether or not some devious criminal was actually scoping out Twitter for victims but there are bound to be more of these stories in the near future. As use of real-time social data services becomes more common we’ll get used to sharing our location either consciously (via a service like Google Latitude) or passively via geotags on photos and videos that we upload.
Even if you don’t actively share your location online there’s likely to be the other data about you out there that make putting a place to the online name easy. Domain name registration records, public electoral roll records, even the phone book – they’re all tools that can help to track you down. It’s easy to imagine a future in which ‘Geolocational crime’ becomes more prevalent.
At least there was some good news for Israel Hyman. The thieves may have taken his computer but at least they left a back-up. His Drobo storage device was untouched.