Snoopi is a data sniffing dog that sniffs out data from nearby mobile devices, data such as WiFi networks the device has connected to which can be used to track a person’s location history. This information is visualized in real time on a computer that connects remotely to Snoopi.
Culturally we are at a place where the ramifications of having this data shouted out over wireless network has largely remained unseen. With Snoopi I want to start the conversation surrounding seemingly simple and harmless, maybe even cute, things that may be collecting data and profiling people without those involved being aware.
Snoopi in action
Video shot by Ashley with her dog, Prints (aka Snoopi).
The visualization shows each device as a dot and estimates it’s distance to Snoopi. By clicking on each dot, detailed information about the device is revealed. Router history data is displayed. Also the unique mac address of the device is sniffed out and matched with a manufacturer displayed to provide information on what kind of device it may be.
Dots are connected when two devices have connected to the same router. On the bottom right, aggregate router history information is listed to provide an overview of where the devices in the area may have been. If multiple devices have connected to a router, the router name turns green and grows in size.
The sniffing device that Snoopi wears is made with a Raspberry Pi and WiFi cards. The Pi runs NSHeyy, a program that does the sniffing. Devices, such as mobile phones, sends packets to look for WiFi networks they have connected to in the past (a probe request). The sniffer enabled Pi listens to these requests through the WiFi card and send the data to its remote computer through SSH.