Photo from your cell phone can reveal your child’s exact location

Recently, a friend shared a NBC news report stating that new technology allows criminals to locate your child from a photo you posted on the internet.  If you took the photo in your home, the exact location is available to everyone.  If you took the photo at your local park, that location is available to anyone.

Please don’t be overly alarmed.  There is nothing New here to be afraid of.

1) All digital cameras attach information to photos, such as camera settings.  The GPS location is very common in “smart phones” but is also included in some consumer cameras (not phones).

2) As noted in the news report, smart phones allow you to either turn off location information entirely (which would undermine some map applications) or simply eliminated it from photos.

3) The report states that this is “new” technology.  But please note two important things.  The NBC news report is from 2010.   Embedding location data has been supported by iPhone since 2008.

4) Probably true for video also.

5) You can always remove data attached to a photo.  One such app for Android devices, called Image Privacy.  For iOS, you might try deGeo or Photo Check.

 

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