Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Security paranoia in a location aware world

I know I'm super paranoid about security.  

My wife still gives me hell because she doesn't have access to my computers or phones, and has no password access to any of my stuff.   I carefully manage audit trails of my things, so I can ensure the best possible security for my identity.  (In fact, I couldn't use the blogger app on my ipad for this post, because two-factor authentication is setup on my google account to my US cell phone, and I'm using my UK one while traveling.   So I used the web interface instead)

However, I wondered today about the use of certain data from a corporate espionage perspective today as I was considering a Foursquare checkin.   I'm a fan of collecting check-ins these days, and a new stop in a new city is a great way to remember it when viewing my travel log.    As my thumb hovered over the check in, I realized.... "hey, wait... I'm going to a meeting to discuss a potential deal.     That deal isn't out.   Could someone figure out what I was doing just based on where I was?"

I think the answer is no in this case - this is a big city with lots of reasons to be here, and so I moved on.   But is this something to think about in the future?   Will companies use social media information to make competitive decisions?   Can it reveal more about what's going to happen rather that what has or is happening?

Checking in at the office of the deal is stupid - but can you read into the broader location?

Something to consider.