Monday, April 4, 2011

Creepy Social App Knows Where You Live

Facebook has received criticism with their privacy issues, but there's a new social app in town that knows where you live - and ironically, it's called Creepy.

Creepy is a 'geolocation information aggregator' that is a software package for Windows or Linux. Basically, it connects with social networks such as Twitter and Flickr to pull your targeted geographical location. People tend to forget that geographical data is contained within shared images. And even if you are aware, you probably aren't aware that social apps like Creepy know exactly where you live and are allowing random people to access your information.

Creepy uses APIs to access your photos and tweets that have been published to your accounts. Creepy then analyzes the information and delivers the report to the users who asked for your geo-information. I foresee BIG debates about this social app - especially when it comes to the safety of minors who use social networks. My question to Creepy - are you going to monitor the usage of pedophiles who use your app? I don't want anyone accessing where I live, let alone where children live. The clusters of geo-information found by Creepy pinpoints the exact location of a person's workplace or personal residence - and that is definitely CREEPY! 

As someone who uses social media on a regular basis and encourages my clients to use it for their marketing, social apps such as Creepy puts people's privacy at risk and opens up more opportunities for spammers and even stalkers. 

According to Creepy, they warn people about the risks involving geo-location aware services. That really doesn't make sense to me. Their social app is all about 'creeping' people out (literally), yet in the same breath they tell people not to use Foursquare, Twitter, etc. 

Creepy gets a big thumb downs from me. We already have enough to worry about with Facebook and its privacy battles, but we don't need a "Creepy" app tracking our every geographical move. 

With any information you post online, be cautious and careful and please carefully monitor your children's social networks. Unfortunately, I foresee a trend in more social apps who will extract our personal data. However, Creepy takes it too far and social apps should NOT be used at the expense of potentially harming people and threatening their safety. 

For more information about how to protect your online privacy, check out these websites:



  1. Hi there,

    First things first. Creepy is not a social app. It was not created to be one, and is not offered as such.

    Regarding your pedophile related question, I want to stress out that what creepy does , was already easy to be done manually with widely available tools and people with malicious intentions could have been doing that already. It is not as if creepy opened pandora's box.
    I truly believe though that this whole buzz about creepy these past few days will help wake up people regarding the dangers of oversharing information on social networking platforms.

    What you need to understand is that creepy doesn't take advantage of any security flaw, or "hack into" your account to retrieve information or anything like that. It just aggregates the information that the user already shares. So if you post that you live at x and work at y and hang out everyday with your kid at z, creepy will aggregate that you live in x, work in y and hang out at z. Simple as that. So maybe it's not creepy the party to blame in this situation but the one who shouted out all this information to the whole world in the first place.

    Finally regarding your comment on "According to Creepy, they warn people about the risks involving geo-location aware services. That really doesn't make sense to me. Their social app is all about 'creeping' people out (literally), yet in the same breath they tell people not to use Foursquare, Twitter, etc" , I'm not telling people not to use foursquare and twitter, I use twitter too ( quite extensively ). I just urge them to consider the implications and potential dangers of oversharing in such social networking problems.

  2. Just sayin'! There are thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands of people that leave their doors open when they leave home.

    Now, if I were to make a program or app, that brought all of those doors into geo locations, I wouldn't be opening Pandora's box, as you described it, because they are idiots and are already leaving their doors open anyway. But, I've made it a one stop shop for anyone wanting to go into those houses and take what they want.

    If you think about it long and hard enough, you can justify anything in your own mind! Your app is dangerous, no matter what your intentions are!

  3. Mr. Kakavas, Thank you for your input and response. You can spin it however you want, but I still think your software puts people in harm's way and jeopardizes their safety.

    Yes, I do agree that people need to be aware of the type of information they share on their social networks; however, social network users are unaware that your program pulls up their geolocation and shares this information with your Creepy users. That's the catch and where it draws the line with privacy issues.

    I realize that your program isn't the only one out there that aggregates information from social networks, but your software walks a slippery slope when it comes to people's safety.

    I brought up the point about children because minors use social networks. I think parents need to carefully monitor what their kids post and do not post, but many children aren't monitored and are unaware of how easy their information could be found (and then you add their geolocation and that could put them in harm's way with stalkers and sex offenders).

    I stand by what I wrote in my post and agree with Ken's comment that it's dangerous - no matter what your intentions are.

    One only has to Google the stories surrounding Creepy - it's being touted as the "app for stalkers." Not my words but the words of other journalists and reporters. Obviously, I'm not the only blogger out there who sees the potential danger concerning your program.

    PS - Ken, thanks so much for your input!


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