Who knows your name? Who knows where you live?

The other day someone worked out where I live from a previous post on this blog.


Now I’m reasonably careful online: I’ve written about password security, I know emails are less private than postcards, and I don’t geotag pictures out of an instinctive preference for privacy, and I certainly don’t tweet or blog about going away before I actually go.  So you may think it’s odd that I blog in my own name, but I’ve a professional interest in Web 2.0 and I need to type the type as well as talk the talk.

When we went away a couple of weeks ago, I dropped a very late email in to the folks who deliver our veg to cancel the box for the week. Unfortunately the email addy I used was a benwarsop one, and I am a customer of theirs in my married name.


Or so you’d like to think.

You see, my email sig includes a link to this blog and the top post that week showed  some flowers on my kitchen windowsill.  I thought no harm of it: central Scotland is full of kitchens with views like mine.

I see sunflowers, you see the house opposite

I see sunflowers, you see the house opposite

But Ms Holmes was smarter than that.  She knew which day I have my veg delivered from the email and it was easy enough to check the route for someone whose first name was “Ben”.  It was probably a list of 1, but even if it had been more, it was only a matter of comparing the relevant Google Street View(s) with the pic on my blog, and bingo! No veg left to rot for a week, and a happy but rather unnerved Ben.

So if you want excellent organic veg delivered by tech savvy folks, go to GrowWild and say I sent you.  They know both my names now.

And if you don’t want to be tracked down, find somewhere to live that Google Street View hasn’t got to yet. It’s good advice. Property values in places like that will soar.

10 responses to “Who knows your name? Who knows where you live?

  1. You’re operating on the rather broad presumption that anyone actually reads your blog, there.

  2. I view my stats. I know what search terms are used. I know what links are followed.


  3. My parents’ house doesn’t appear on Street View. The car didn’t get within 100 yards of their drive, even. I must suggest to them that that will increase its value…

    • It used to be that it was very infra dig to have a house with a number (houses in the country have names, only houses in towns have numbers, and not all of them). I am absolutely certain that “not on google street view” will become code for “very rural”.

      I’m a big fan of not being “not on google street view”.

      Cheers SoRB.


  4. Google Street View did find its way to our village (indeed you can find the other half’s van in 3 different places, including outside the boozer, typically), but since it’s ‘Google Street View’ not ‘Google Up 30-Odd Steps and Through The Wood View’, you can’t find the house. Which is nice. Can see part of the garden on satelite view though, but fortunately none of the household were wandering around in the all together on that day.

    • I’m impressed by the other half’s omnipresence – very clever to be in the pub AND have a couple of alibi locations at the same time. If only we could all master the cloning technology.

      I knew you guys had moved, but I hadn’t realised you’d taken to the forests. Good for you.


  5. And here is another one who doesn’t have their abode show up on street view. The cars got to about 20m away but didn’t go down the row and couldn’t see through the trees from the other angle. We are on the main aerial view, we’re not that remote 😉

  6. And you can of course get the views around you removed so your house isn’t on streetview.

  7. Its scary that it’s so easy to track someone down from just a few little online clues! Shows just how careful we all should be.

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