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Software

Spyware predicts your movements from Facebook and Twitter

RIOT is Big Brother spyware that analyses Facebook and Twitter to not only track where you've been, but predict your movements.

In the information age, the RIOT predicts you. RIOT is sneaky Big Brother-style spyware that analyses Facebook and Twitter to not only track exactly where you've been, but predict what you're going to do in future.

RIOT, or Rapid Information Overlay Technology, has been built by US defence contractor Raytheon and shared with the US government. The software tracks your online relationships to see who you know and who you talk to online. And it mines latitude and longitude from EXIF data embedded in photos taken by smart phones and digital cameras and posted on Facebook and Twitter, as well as location data from check-in apps Foursquare and Gowalla.

The Guardian reveals a video made by Raytheon that shows how the software can then track your movements using that information from check-ins and shared photos. RIOT plots your past whereabouts on Google Earth, and can also show RIOT's users what you look like from your photos.

The software can then analyse your comings and goings to predict where you'll be at a given time, by seeing when you're most likely to visit, for example, the gym.

Raytheon claims that RIOT analyses data to spot patterns without compromising personal information such as bank details or other financial information. The company says it hasn't sold the software to anyone yet, but has shared the technology with the US government to build a surveillance network.

A timely reminder to think twice about what you're sharing on the Internet, especially when there's hidden data in there that you don't usually think about. For me, it's also a reminder never to go to the gym. Take that, spooks!

Is RIOT a gross breach of privacy, or just the sort of thing we have to accept as a fact of life in the surveillance age? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.