A new site called Please Rob Me is getting some media mileage not only because of its intriguing name but also because of its equally intriguing purpose. Â Please Rob Me describes its goal as follows:
The goal of this website is to raise some awareness on this issue and have people think about how they use services like Foursquare, Brightkite, Google Buzz etc. Because all this site is, is a dressed up Twitter search page (link). Everybody can get this information.
So, what does the site actually does? Well, controversial as well. It compiles and lists down all the status updates published on FourSquare and perhaps soon other location-aware services as well, that pertains to individuals saying that they are about to leave their homes to go somewhere else. These are posted on the site and on Twitter.
While Please Rob Me’s goal is unquestionably noble, the way it is pushing things to achieve this goal is not. Raising the level of awareness of the public over some dangerous matters is a good feat, but actually giving the would-be perpetrators an idea about this whole thing is certainly not commendable.
The site posts those updates on their Twitter account for all its followers to see and monitor. Â They say that FourSquare, Gowalla and the others are just dressed up Twitter where updates live links that anyone can click through and access.
But the thing is, those location-aware service still give users the options to set up their privacy settings and control who among their contacts they would allow access to their updates. So, I guess location-aware services are still safe, just like Twitter.