Recently there has been a video doing the rounds from YouTube on how smartphone pictures can be a privacy risk. It’s no joke. Most smart phones, have GeoTagging turned on by default for photos that you take with the phone’s camera. What this does is embed geographic location information such as the longitude and latitude of where the picture was taken into the picture itself.
When these pictures are posted on the Internet on sites such as Facebook, Flickr, photobucket, etc. the geolocation information can be extracted from the pictures to find out exactly where it was taken. Some people are fine with this, but consider the consequences. What if you have taken pictures of your children playing at the park, that you visit frequent. Or that they have taken pictures at your house, and their friends house plus the local mall, and their after school soccer practice. If these are posted online, predators can search for photos of kids in the area, find out where they are exactly, discover common places they hang out and the paths they are likely taking to get there, and wait for them.
Do you really want predators to have that kind of information about your children?
For Windows Phone go to
Settings –> Applications –> Pictures & Camera
Make sure that “Keep location information on uploaded pictures” is Off. (should be off be default)
Now, if you download the pictures from your phone to your PC, the information will still be there. If you then upload them from your PC, Windows Phone can’t protect you from this. You might want to turn off geotagging completely to make sure you don’t accidentally upload pictures with gegraphic information in them. To do that on Windows Phone:
Make sure that “Include location (GPS) information in pictures you take” is set to Off.
For other phone types I’m sure these settings are in a similar location.