Smartphone Privacy | Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Mom

August 11, 2011

Smartphone Privacy

This is a bit of a PSA, but I wanted to pass this important information along. My mother-in-law forwarded me a video from youtube about smartphone privacy today. At first I thought it was just another silly forward. Until I watched the video.  The video was actually a news clip.  The more I watched, the more legit I found it to be.

Basically, it speaks to the Modern Parent.  Most of us have and use smartphones, particularly our camera applications.  I'm guilty.  I love taking pictures of my kiddos doing something cute, and having the ability to instantly upload those photos to Facebook. I'm not much of a Twitter uploader, but I know many who are.  I figured since I had set my Facebook privacy pretty strict (only Friends can see my info and photos, etc), I thought it was ok.

I was wrong.

Apparently, smartphone cameras are enabled to use GPS to geotag the photos taken with the camera.  Geotagging "is the process of adding geographical identification metadata to various media such as a Geotagged photograph or video, websites, SMS messages, or RSS feeds and is a form of geospatial metadata. These data usually consist of latitude and longitude coordinates, though they can also include altitudebearing, distance, accuracy data, and place names. It is commonly used for photographs, giving geotagged photographs." - Wikipedia.

This means that if our geotagging/location is enabled on our smartphones, the exact location of that photo is tagged and added to its data.  If someone wanted to find the geotagging info for that photo, they could. If it was taken in your child's bedroom, they could trace it.

Creepy much?

I'm not one to get all crazy fanatical about things.  But you cannot be too safe or sure when it comes to your kids.  Am I right?

This is the news clip:

If you are not sure how to disable geotagging/location on your phone's camera, icanstalku has a how-to page to help.

Be safe, and pass along the knowledge!

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