Privacy – it’s not just cookies and Facebook you need to worry about

As the EU cookie law comes into full effect this week there’s been a lot of hoo-haa about businesses tracking what you are doing online and it seems that barely a week goes by with out Facebook making some changes that has people up in arms about their privacy.

But that’s not what this blog is about. There’s been plenty written on those topics. I’m going to tell you a tale about another way you can be telling the world more than you thought…

And when I say tale, I mean a real life example.

The other day I missed a call on my phone.

On listening to the voice mail, I quickly realised that the message wasn’t for me. But from that one phone call I now know more about the caller than they realise.

So what do I know and how did I find this out (NB I did all this “research” sat on the sofa on my blackberry)

  1. His home phone number. The number showed up on my phone and he said he was calling from home.
  2. His name. The first name was clear in the message. Couldn’t clearly get the surname from the message but other data helped me find this.
  3. A hobby – he referred to his hobby in the message. 
  4. The person he was leaving the message for shares the same hobby  – it’s not a common hobby and he had exciting news for the person about it. 
  5. He has a daughter
  6. He’s either separated or divorced. In the message he said he’d been hanging out with his daughter.
  7. He’s involved in a running a sporting club. His name’s isn’t common and from the phone number I knew where in the country he lives and google is my friend for this!
  8. His full address and the address of a property he rents out. Again, from the phone number and using google.
  9. He’s looking to have some sort of “romantic” involvement with the person he was leaving the message for. If you heard the message you’d agree
  10. His home email address.
  11. His work email, who he works for and his occupation
  12. His father’s name, DOB and some of his family history

I could probably find out more if I tried…but all this from a phone message. 

Makes you think doesn’t it!

The IT Fairy
Clare is better known as the IT Fairy because the way she can make complicated things easy is simply magic.

, ,

One Response to Privacy – it’s not just cookies and Facebook you need to worry about

  1. Cristina 31 May , 2012 at 9:39 am #


    It’s great isn’t it? More than once I managed to track down people hiding on the other side of the globe for they always leave some kind of electronic trace behind… 😉 it certainly makes me think about what kind of info I share with the world.

    Keep up the great work!

    See you soon (hopefully).

Leave a Reply