What are examples of apps/sites/experiments that have shamed/exposed people sharing their info online?
July 3, 2012 3:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for examples of apps, websites, or experiments that have exposed people sharing their information online, or that sought to raise awareness about info being explicitly or accidentally shared. I'd love your help.

The new Twitter account @NeedADebitCard and Facebook-driven We Know What You're Doing have come out in the last week or so, joining a number of older apps intended to increase awareness about the info they're sharing online (or just mock them for entertainment).

Please Rob Me, Creepy, and I Can Stalk U all worked similarly. FireSheep was more about making session hijacking easy, but had a similar effect. Going further back, Jason Fortuny's Craigslist Experiment was an extreme example of someone exploiting expectations of privacy for entertainment.

What other examples am I missing?
posted by waxpancake to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: And a side question: Is it ethical to further publicize people's personal information to raise awareness about privacy issues? What if you don't choose to notify the exposed person?
posted by waxpancake at 3:53 PM on July 3, 2012

Give Us All Your Money had a very dry bit of fine print.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:00 PM on July 3, 2012

Response by poster: Parker Higgins also mentioned You Have Downloaded and Girls Around Me.
posted by waxpancake at 4:04 PM on July 3, 2012

Best answer: IsAnyoneUp [wiki] was a horrible website that posted nude photos of people along with their Facebook profiles. Some self-submitted but the vast majority was from exes seeking revenge. Pretty good anti-sexting awareness if you ask me.
posted by acidic at 4:15 PM on July 3, 2012

Best answer: OpenBook did this by performing a search of Facebook status updates; it doesn't seem to exist anymore but here's a little blurb about it. Open Status Search does similar.
posted by Ms. Toad at 4:33 PM on July 3, 2012

The original one I remember was some variant of whatsmyip which would give you a list of all the things a browser would know about you based on the information that was passed to the webserver [the original web logs] which for many people was a bit of a surprise, at the time. EFF has a more current one talking about how unique your browser fingerprint is. There was another ancient one that had a list of the 200 most popular websites and would basically tell you which ones you had visited by some not-that-clever determination of what links were displaying with the CSS:visited selector (details, one site that did this). I don't think this works anymore. This site tells you which fonts you have installed along with a number of other things.
posted by jessamyn at 4:45 PM on July 3, 2012

Your side question seems to be, is it ok to harm people in order to raise awareness, and I think the answer has to be no.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:20 PM on July 3, 2012

And a side question: Is it ethical to further publicize people's personal information to raise awareness about privacy issues? What if you don't choose to notify the exposed person?

This seems a bit like publicizing an exploding gas tank problem with a particular model of car by bumping into people at stoplights and watching them explode, then saying, "see, told you!"
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 5:30 PM on July 3, 2012

Response by poster: jessamyn: The difference with those examples is that they don't publicize any identifying information, so are in a different class. They're not identifying anybody, and certainly not trying to shame people.
posted by waxpancake at 5:30 PM on July 3, 2012

Best answer: Ah sorry I thought you just meant passive information sharing. FindGuyswithIphones was a short-lived one.
posted by jessamyn at 5:54 PM on July 3, 2012

Response by poster: jessamyn & acidic: Great examples, thanks.
posted by waxpancake at 6:32 PM on July 3, 2012

There was a cool one last Halloween called Take This Lollipop. I don't think it's active anymore, but you'd authorise it as a Facebook app and be shown a video of a super-creepy guy staring at your profile, checking out your photos, looking up directions to your hometown on Google maps then getting into his car and setting off in your direction with a photo of you printed off and taped to the dashboard.

It was really slickly done, you'd have pre-shot video of a computer in this creepy old shack, your Facebook profile page would be pulled in and displayed on sn the computer then there'd be another layer of pre-shot video on top so it looked like Mr Serial Killer's face was reflected on the screen as he perved over you.

It failed in sort of hilarious ways if you had insufficient or fictional data on your Facebook account, but then if you were already concerned about Facebook privacy you weren't the target audience.

There was also a live talk at some event or other called I Know What You Did Five Minutes Ago which pulled in publically shared Facebook data. They called up some guy who listed his phone number on his profile and left him a voicemail with his mom's maiden name and some other stuff on it. It's bleeped out on the video, but it was all visible on the day.
posted by the latin mouse at 12:05 AM on July 4, 2012

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