In some cases, you might unwittingly be letting others know where you live and work and your travel patterns and habits. These details can be revealed through bits of information embedded in images taken with smartphones and some digital cameras and then shared on public websites. The information, called metadata, often includes the times, dates, and geographical coordinates (latitude and longitude) where images are taken.
While the geospatial data can be helpful in myriad web applications that plot image locations, it also opens a door for criminals, including burglars, stalkers, and predators. It’s not a stretch to imagine young teens’ images of their ventures to the mall or beach being culled by web predators and meticulously plotted on online maps.
“It’s not something we think is happening. We know it’s happening,” said Kevin Gutfleish, head of the Innocent Images Intelligence Unit in the FBI’s Cyber Division.
This is info that’s useful for everyone, but particularly for parents. The FBI posted this article on their website. But it’s important to highlight. We’re constantly downloading and sharing the latest pics with our friends and acquaintances. But those pics contain data that can pinpoint our location. Please share this info with others. (full article under ParentsDesk article section) The FBI also has this handy tip sheet for disabling the location function.
|Disabling the Location FunctionDisabling the photo geotagging function on mobile phones varies by manufacturer, but is generally a straightforward process. On one of the most popular models, users can simply navigate to the following folders: Settings > General > Location services The path to location-based services options varies from phone to phone. Users should take special care when enabling or disabling location services (which may include navigation functions), or disabling applications (like photos) accessing the GPS data. Consult your phone manufacturer’s guidelines for more information.|