online photos can tell our exact place of residence - FamilyEducation
online photos can tell our exact place of residence
09/22/2010 at 14:05 PM

Hi, everyone! I use Facebook and lots of other online resources a lot, but have just found out that when I post photos online, they can tell the exact place of the place where it was taken - longitude and latitude! My daughter also loves telling the world where she is and accompanies the information with photos, and now I worry if it's safe enough to tell the strangers what you do and where you are. Any thoughts on this? Is it really that serious?

I don't believe that photos taken with a digital camera can reveal the exact location they were taken. It is possible, I suppose, that if your phone has GPS capability and it is a cell-phone picture, that location could be included in the upload, but it doesn't make sense to me. FB is supposed to restrict your info to people you have friended. This sounds like one of those 'sky is falling' things.

It's good that you're concerned. It could be serious, FB recently launched "Places" which can automatically send your real time location from your iphone to FB. Certain resterants, stores etc have their own FB page and if you use "places" it can show that you are at that particular place. So if your daughter has a FB app on her iphone then you need to worry. Regardless of what kind of phone she has check her privacy settings on FB, make sure her page/pictures/profile is only available to friends (or friends of friends), not everybody. FB isn't responsible for keeping our kids safe from crazy people, we are. So get her password and check all her settings (and her friend list). My oldest has a FB page and I check hers about once a month and we have rules about what she can post.

I forgot that you do have to set your privacy settings on FB to restrict the info to friends only

Well, the more I read on the topic the more uncomfortable I feel. Just found an article in the New York Times from August 11, 2010 called "Web photos that reveal secrets, like, where you live".I advise everyone to find it. I don't think I can post any links here, but you will find it by Google. What about regular cameras? It looks like the problem is more serious than we all think!

Don't know if Marti will consider this useful info, but here's a link from the NYT article. will help you disable the geotag feature in your digital camera or phone. Good heads-up, Svetlana
24775 has instructions on how to disable the features on phones,

I found something really nice as well to remove all geotags from photos - Geotag Security. It allows testing your photo folders first, and then you can remove them if you wish. I won't post a link, but ask Google.