The crime reporting app, Citizen, informed thousands of users of the location of Billie Eilish’s family home on Thursday night. A push notification announced that police were responding to an attempted burglary at the home in LA’s Highland Park neighborhood. It was updated to disclose that the home belonged to Eilish, according to police.
The notification included the exact address of the attempted burglary, effectively sending Eilish’s address to 178,000 people. According to Citizen’s metrics, the notification was viewed by nearly 78,000 of them.
For one of the biggest pop stars in the industry, that’s a major security concern. The home is not just the singer's personal residence, it is her family home. Eilish frequently mentions growing up in Highland Park in the media, but the home has been blurred on Google Maps in an attempt to maintain a semblance of privacy.
Citizen’s approach to privacy is less rigid. The app encourages users to upload videos and photos of alleged crimes and police activity in their area. Such a policy led to the company placing a $30,000 bounty on the wrong person after inciting users to track down whoever set a wildfire in the Pacific Palisades. In the Wild West of the internet, anything goes.
Citizen abruptly changed the address listed as Eilish’s Friday morning, amending it to a cross-street, but concerns remain that a crazed fan could put two and two together.
As for the crime itself, a suspect has been arrested for the attempted burglary. Police were called at 9:15 p.m. on Thursday night after the family's housekeeper, who wasn't home, saw someone jumping the fence into the property on cameras placed on the property. The man was arrested following a brief confrontation. It is unclear whether Eilish or family members were present during the attempted burglary or whether anything was taken from the home.
Photo courtesy of Jojo Korsh/BFA