Monday, July 28, 2014

I Know Where Your Cat Lives (and I Can Stalk You, Too)

A website named I Know Where Your Cat Lives is about a lot more than satisfying one's craving for pictures of cute cats (there's over a million cat pictures and counting) as the whole purpose of the website was to address a very real question in the age of the Internet where you don't need lots of web design and coding background to create an online presence, namely that of privacy.

Cue the cute kitty pictures. 

The website is the brainchild of Owen Mundy, an associate professor of art at Florida State University. The impetus for the idea: Mundy's own questioning of whether he should post pictures of his daughter online. The problem: Mundy knew that any would-be creep could probably find exactly where he and his family live. How? Thank in-camera GPS/geotagging options.
A feature that I once mocked as one of the dumbest camera features on my Examiner page 4 years ago ( I still can't figure out why people need it), GPS, then a novelty, is now a norm as most cameras have the ability to record the exact geographical coordinates at which a picture was taken along with the rest of the image data. Needless to say, if you're worried about privacy/stalkers, you see the problem coming at you like a speeding bus. 

Thus was born I Know Where Your Cat Lives, Mundy's harmless, entertaining, yet very clear way of making photo sharing site users think about their privacy. On the website, you can search cat pictures from all over the world, or just click for random pictures. When a picture comes up (some have been removed per the cat's privacy-appreciating owner), you see the cat, along with a satellite shot of the cat's neighborhood, with an arrow pointing right at the cat's house.

Scary? Well, there's good news: there should be a GPS/geotagging shut off feature on your camera.

Oh yes, because my camera does not have GPS, I don't have to worry about anyone stalking my cat, so I present . . . Stinky . . . 

3 weeks (and very stinky, yet to comprehend a litterbox)

5 Weeks

6 Weeks (Eyes Starting to Change Color)

9 Weeks (Eyes Yellow, Fur Clearly Darkening)

11 Weeks (if only I can get her to help with the cars)

14 Weeks (Jet Black and Shiny)

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