The Twitter account of Michael Dell’s daughter has been closed with speculation blaming the teen’s habit of carelessly broadcasting her family’s movements, including that of her father, in a way that undermined security.
According to a Bloomberg report, 18-year-old Alexa Dell had used her website and social media sites such as Instagram and Twitter to post pictures of herself, her brother and father enjoying the sort of travel and vacation itinerary that is probably only imaginable to a family worth billions.
What was more unusual, however, was the level of detail provided of future movements, including references to locations due to be visited up to two weeks in advance and even GPS references provided from her smartphone. The postings had happened over an extended period.
Locations reportedly included an exact arrival time in New York, places she planned to shop and a high school graduation dinner event that was to be attended by the Dell CEO himself.
Bloomberg has speculated that security concerns might be the move behind the sudden disappearance of Dell’s daughter from public social media although this will likely be impossible to confirm. The company has refused to comment.
The story might have substance all the same; images of the Dell family posted elsewhere on the internet have also been removed, which would be consistent with a wider security clampdown.
According to Bloomberg, Dell’s regulatory filings state that Michael Dell spent $2.7 million (£1.7 million) on his and his family’s security last year.
As far as has ever been made public, security incidents such as kidnappings are a rarity for wealthy tech entrepreneurs or their families.
The only incident that springs to mind in recent times was that of the kidnapping of Ivan Kaspersky, son of Kaspersky Lab founder and CEO, Eugene Kaspersky, in April 2011. He was freed unharmed within days after action by the Russian police and without a ransom having been paid.