Researchers develop formula that reveals home location based on tweets

twittermarket

IBM researches announced Friday they successfully developed an algorithm to track down any Twitter user’s home city based on metadata contained in their last 200 tweets.

The formula, which researchers said could benefit targeted advertising for marketers or locating major news events for journalists, has an almost 70 percent rate of accuracy according to MIT Technology Review, and is the latest research finding to highlight the possible danger to privacy and security presented by metadata collection and analysis.

One of Twitter’s option features allows for the location tagging of every tweet a user posts. Research head Jalal Mahmud lead the IBM team’s effort, which began with a question: Is it possible to predict the location of a Twitter account holder’s location by analyzing tweets and matching the content against their geotagged metadata?

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