Smartphone Pictures Pose Privacy Risks – Facts


Picture about Smartphone Pictures Pose Privacy Risks
Smartphone Pictures Pose Privacy Risks

Story: 

Warning if you take photos with your cell phone of your kids, grand kids, elderly family members —
WATCH THIS!

This is truly alarming – please take the time to watch this video, AND TAKE THE RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS. At the end they’ll tell you how to set your phone so you don’t run this risk!

PLEASE PASS THIS INFO TO ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO TAKES PICTURES WITH THEIR CELL OR SMART PHONE AND POSTS THEM ONLINE. Be sure to share with all your family and friends. This is important info, about what your posting pictures/info on your cell phones can do TO YOU!!! Too much technology out there these days so beware………..

I had no idea this could happen from taking pictures on the blackberry or cell phone. It’s scary.

Other Versions

Pictures you’ve e-mailed or uploaded from your smartphone could leak information that can threaten your safety or that of your children.

Picture about Smartphone Pictures Pose Privacy Risks
Smartphone Pictures Pose Privacy Risks

Analysis:

This is a warning relating to a report of NBC Action News that aired in November 2010 and talks about security risks of online sharing of pictures taken from Smartphones. Yes, it is a fact, but there is nothing particularly new about it, and the warning is a bit overemphasized.

The Issue

The message basically suggests that if you are sharing your pictures taken from Smartphones online, then people can easily trace your geographical location using some free tools available online, and this can pose a threat, especially in case of kids. Yes, this is a fact. This is possible from the Geotagging feature that is available with most of the modern phones and also the digital cameras.

Image about Exif metadata of a Picture
Exif metadata of a Picture

Geotagging Feature

The Geotagging feature is made possible by using built-in GPS receivers, which record latitude and longitude information about where a particular picture was taken. This information is stored along with additional informational data of the pictures and is generally stored in the standard Exif format, i.e. Exchangeable image file format. All this information is stored as metadata of the picture, so when you share this picture online, it is from this Geotagging information of Exif data that one can trace your location. So you must be careful while using this feature and sharing your pictures online.

Picture about Geotagging information
Geotagging information

The Solution

To avoid this risk, one can disable the Geotagging feature on their smartphone and digital cameras. From reference section below, you can learn how to do it in various smartphone devices. Instead, you can use Exif metadata editor to change/remove the location information associated with your pictures. Also, you can save your pictures in a format that does not support Exif metadata. But unlike what is warned, some social media sites like Facebook and Twitter in fact automatically delete the location data from the uploaded pictures. Google+ and Instagram do not delete this location information automatically, but provide an option of hiding it.

Hoax or Fact: 

Fact, but a bit overemphasized.

References:

Smartphone picture uploads can reveal the location of your children’s home, school, and play areas
Geotagged photograph
Viewing and using EXIF data
Disabling Geotagging – How are you doing this?


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Smartphone Pictures Pose Privacy Risks – Facts

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