Are you sharing your location without knowing it?

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We have different definitions of privacy. You may not want anyone but your Facebook friends to know what you did last night. I may blog about my hourly wage and tweet my first kiss and share every credit card purchase I make.

The key element of privacy is choice. You don’t want to share your location, for instance, with strangers so you don’t do it.

Or do you?

A picture used to be worth a thousand words. But that was before metadata. Now, in some ways, a picture can read your mind— or at least find you on a Google Map. When  the digital camera on most smartphones takes a picture, an EXIF (Exchangable Image File) is automatically created. EXIF files include a lot of data that can be very useful to analyze and track photos. It may also include the exact location where a photo was taken.

That means that if share your photo on Twitter on Facebook, you could be sharing your location—possibly with the whole world. Go to ICanStalkYou.com and you’ll see thousands examples of people sharing their location, often without even realizing it.

If you aren’t a celebrity or living in a region where kidnapping is prevalent or being stalked by an ex, you might fine with people knowing where you are. But the key to privacy is choice. Do you want to strangers to know where you are? If the answer is no, you need to turn off geotagging on your phone.

ICanStalkYou.com explains how to shut geotagging off now. And Lifehacker offers instruction on how to remove the information from the photos you’ve already taken.

If you take control of your location privacy, you won’t have to think twice next time someone says, “See you around.”

For more on this subject, check out: “Can I Stalk You? An Intro to Location-Based Service Security

Cheers,
Jason

CC image created by daniellehelm

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