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Old tweets reveal hidden secrets


Old Twitter posts could reveal more about you than you think, according to a research paper released this month. Tweets could reveal places you visited and things you did, even if you didn’t explicitly mention them.

Researchers from the Foundation for Research and Technology in Greece and the University of Illinois found all this out after writing a tool called LPAuditor. The software mines publicly available tweet data that anyone can download from Twitter via its application programming interface (API).

Using the tool, they analyzed the metadata – hidden information about a tweet embedded in the post – to identify users’ homes, workplaces and sensitive places that they visited. In dozens of cases, they were also able to identify the users behind anonymous Twitter accounts.

In the paper, entitled Please Forget Where I Was Last Summer: The Privacy Risks of Public Location (Meta)Data, the researchers said:

even if users are cautious and nothing sensitive is disclosed in the...(continued)
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