Don’t be like these MPs, unwittingly revealing their home addresses on Instagram

Graham Cluley

InstagramThere’s no test for common sense before you’re elected to be a member of the British Parliament.

Which might explain why some appear to have been a little reckless with their social media privacy settings, unwittingly revealing their home address via a feature on Instagram called “Photo Maps”.

The Guido Fawkes site has revealed that at least three English MPs have not just been taking harmless snaps of their domestic activities, they’ve also been geo-tagging them:

  • Luciana Berger, MP for Wavertree (Labour Co-operative) and Shadow Minister for Public Health
  • Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth (Conservative) and Minister of State for Housing and Planning
  • Mark Spencer, MP for Sherwood (Conservative)

As a result, it’s child’s play to determine where they live.

Does that really matter? Well, yes it does.

Luciana BergerFor instance, Luciana Berger has problems before with anti-Semitic abuse on Twitter, which resulted in a man being imprisoned for four weeks.

At the end of last year Berger said:

“At the height of the abuse, the police said I was the subject of 2,500 hate messages in the space of three days”

As a result, she has had to reportedly take “security measures” at her residences in Liverpool and London.

In which case, it’s hardly a good idea to reveal your home address on Instagram is it?

It’s not as though Instagram doesn’t acknowledge the privacy risks of enabling “Photo Maps”, providing an FAQ on the implications of using the feature.

To the service’s credit, it doesn’t enable the Photo Maps functionality by default.

“By default, adding location or adding to your Photo Map is turned off for all photos you upload to Instagram. This means that no photos will appear on your Photo Map without your explicit permission.”

Yes, I was pleasantly surprised too…

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

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