3 Ways to Use Technology & the Web for Stalking!

The Stalking Shirt!

Technology and the web are just like money: they could be put into good use such as donations made to charity, and they could also be used to bring about pain and chaos; granting the purchasing power to obtain illegal substances such as drugs! Though mobiles, browsers, Facebook and Twitter help promote businesses, open up opportunities and allows some people to find love and friendship, they could also be used in schemes, scams, stalking and crimes!

We have previously addressed many of the harms which technology and the web impose, the serious and the not so serious. However, as I was lost on the trails of a friend of mine from one Facebook page to another, it hit me:

… there are so many stalking and tracking methods which have been introduced to us through technology and the numerous recent startups and it’s about time that we reveal them to you! I will break them down to you into 3 main categories: 1) discrete, 2) manual and 3) voluntary:

1. Discrete Tracking:

This type of tracking is not open to the public. It would be carried out by certain information seeking companies and governmental bodies. Here are couple of examples on how it can be achieved:

Google Social Search: What a criminal wants? [video]

Last week, Google announced its experimenting with a new social search feature. The feature simply combines your Twitter, Facebook, Google (…etc) contacts and friends and includes their photos, updates and entries in your search results.

Besides the immediate “this is interesting and should be useful” thought, it got me wondering, do we really want that? Think of it from this: without the option of having each and every update of your friends searchable, people were complaining about others stalking” them on Facebook and MySpace. Imagine now, when instead of just inferring information from the bits and pieces everyone posted, you can actually search for whatever you want to learn about.

Imagine a thieve looking for an easy target to steal with 1000 “friends” on Facebook and 10,000 Twitter followers. A simple “vacation+from” search on Google, limiting it by time, would get him all “friends” out of town. Now, we can agree that the user who posted the “I’m on vacation from-to” online is an idiot, while Google is just making it easier to track all of that.

Below is the video introduction of Google’s social search experiment. Let us know your thoughts.

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