Saturday, 1 October 2011

Dangers of Image Geo Tagging


What is Image Geo tagging anyways?
In short a geotag is a meta tag embedded into the attributes of a digital image.
Did you know today's smart phones and digital cameras embed hidden data into the photographs you take? The photos you take with your modern smart phone can tell others:
  • Where you live
  • Where you work
  • Where you go to school
  • Where you spend your free time
  • Where your friends or family live
  • When there is nobody home
  • Where you park your car
  • And the list goes on and on and on.....
Now this may not be a big deal if you are taking photographs of yourself or a friend in a public place like Lake Eola in Orlando Fl, Cranes Roost Park in Altamonte Springs Fl or another well known public place. On the other hand if you are taking photos in your home, at your job or any other place you don't want a stranger to know then you probably should continue reading this article.
How does it happen?
When you take a photograph with a smart phone or digital camera, it takes much more than just a photograph. Most of today's smart phones such as the Motorola DROID or the APPLE IPHONE have the ability and do so by default add GeoTags to the photographs you take which include information about the EXACT location where the photograph was taken, what date and time the photograph was taken and this poses a real security threat to consumers.
Let's pretend you take photos of yourself or your family or your friends with your APPLE iPhone, Motorola DROID or another modern smart phone. Now let's pretend you upload those photos to your Facebook, MySpace, a singles website or even email them to somebody you don't know very well.
Sounds pretty normal so far, right?
The hidden danger is anybody with the know-how or technical knowledge if you will can view the hidden data embedded in your photographs and see exactly where the photos were taken, when the photos were taken and much more...
How do you protect yourself?
You can turn off the GPS feature on your smart-phone, but you might still need the GPS feature turned on for GPS navigation. So if you want to protect yourself you would turn the GPS functionality off on your smart phone when you are taking photographs and turn the GPS function back on if you happen to need to use the GPS features in your smartphone.

 

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