Saturday, June 30, 2018

Geotags and the privacy of your photos and family

Do you know what geotags are?  Many devices that we use to take pictures with also have a built in function to label the picture with the location in which it was taken, using latitude and longitude. We don't see those labels, but they are embedded into the picture -- and someone wanting to invade your privacy could uncover those geotags and know where you (or your child) or etc are located.  Maybe that doesn't seem like too big of a deal to you, but do you really want people you don't know and who might have an ulterior or criminal motive to have access to where you are? I sure don't.

So what are we to do about these geotags?  If you take pictures with your phone or other device and are unsure if you have privacy settings already in place to eliminate those tags, you can check it out using a website called  Basically just type in and you will see a site which you can upload a photo to and it'll tell you where it was taken, along with other information such as what device took the picture and etc (it it's available within the picture.)

Here's an example!
So here's the top portion of the landing page.  You can simply drag a photo into the gray block
and the data held within the photo is shown below the block.

Hopefully your results will not have a location listed,
 though they may tell something about you
(such as what device you used to take the picture)

As you probably guessed, this is what you do NOT want to see--the location where your picture was taken hidden within the picture.

So what do you do if you find that your pictures are tagged already?  First of all, I'd google how to turn the tags off on your device.  You can also look online for how to remove the locations from the photos on your phone as well as on different applications (such as websites and etc.)  Some websites already remove the location info when you upload them (I think facebook does) but others don't.  I know some people aren't concerned about the locations on their pictures, but I am, and I just want to let you know that it exists and that you might really want to think about your policy on this privacy issue.  

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