A 26-year-old man from Japan accused of stalking and sexual assault has detailed to the authorities how he was able to track down the whereabouts of a young pop idol.
Stalker Uses Social Media Selfies To Follow Pop Idol
According to reports, the suspect — Hibiki Sato — identified the exact train station where his victim usually commuted from by poring through selfies she posted on social media and zooming into her eyes to analyze the scenery reflected on them. He searched for the landmarks he saw on her photos and triangulated her location using Google Street View.
On Sept. 1, Sato waited at the train station and then followed the unnamed woman home where he allegedly attacked and molested her. He fled the scene of the crime but police was able to track him down using security camera images.
Sato was arrested on Tuesday, Oct. 8.
The man told police that he was a huge fan of the unnamed 21-year-old celebrity. He also admitted that he studied the layout of her apartment, including the placement of the curtains and how the natural light shines from the window, to determine on which floor of the building she lives in by watching the videos she posted online.
Dangers Of Divulging Too Much Information Online
The case has reignited the discussions about the perils of posting high-resolution photos and videos on social media to document daily activities in Japan.
"People should be fully aware that posting pictures and video on social media runs the risk of divulging personal data," warned an investigator who spoke to a Japanese newspaper (via CBS News).
Shuichiro Hoshi, a professor at Tokyo Metropolitan University, agreed that the improved quality of smartphone cameras increases the risk of private information becoming accessible to anyone on the internet.
"In other words, the risk of a so-called 'digital stalker' is on the rise," he told the Tokyo Reporter (via BBC).
In recent years, Japan has also seen several attacks inflicted by fans on popular female pop stars. Earlier this year, a member of the idol group NGT48 revealed that she was assaulted by two men at the entrance of her own apartment.