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Web Photos That Reveal Secrets, Like Where You Live

The New York Times
Thursday August 12, 2010

When Adam Savage, host of the popular science program “MythBusters,” posted a picture on Twitter of his automobile parked in front of his house, he let his fans know much more than that he drove a Toyota Land Cruiser.

Embedded in the image was a geotag, a bit of data providing the longitude and latitude of where the photo was taken. Hence, he revealed exactly where he lived. And since the accompanying text was “Now it’s off to work,” potential thieves knew he would not be at home.

Security experts and privacy advocates have recently begun warning about the potential dangers of geotags, which are embedded in photos and videos taken with GPS-equipped smartphones and digital cameras. Because the location data is not visible to the casual viewer, the concern is that many people may not realize it is there; and they could be compromising their privacy, if not their safety, when they post geotagged media online.


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reedr3v's picture

thanks for posting, troy


wrong thread.


No secret

Where you live is no secret. It is public record. Most people can be found on their county government website on GIS and public tax records.

I think

you are missing the overall point.

personal responsibility is the point

It is all about personal responsibility. If you do not like people knowing where you live you need to change the name on your deed to your home because like it or not it is public record. I would not have it any other way either. I want to know that my County Assessor and others are not giving themselves sweetheart deals on their taxes and becable to look it up. It seems silly to sweat the petty stuff like geocoded pictures on facebook that you can choose to post or not only to know that you house is on record and likely online on a public GIS. I'm just saying if you are serious that you need to think about this issue. Of public access to government information that includes your name and address and much more.

Sexual predators

Could be a major concern with this technology.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

There is an app for that

There is a sex offender GIS locator map so you can see right where the live on iPhone. Who is going to stand up for their privacy thought?? If you are worried about your own family buy a gun or don't post geocoded pictures of your kids on line. I guess i am just not all that freaked out by this stuff. Forced RF ID now s another story.

also of interest

besides meta data is that printers are made to leave a unique "fingerprint" that can be matched back to the printer that a document was printed from.

see this article:

"Quiet Encoding: How Your Laser Printer Manufacturer Has Embedded An ID Code On Every Page You Print"


although, from the article it sounds like it is only laser printers, when in fact it is true of all printers.

As a computer geek I've known

As a computer geek I've known about this and delete ALL identifiable info from all my pictures. I suggest everyone else do this too. It's really not hard to do, you can just easily look it up online!

Do you have a link where I

Do you have a link where I can read about it?

Now that's scary

What purpose or good could GPS picture tracking be for the user (picture taker)???

Or is this another covert FU america thing?


every day it's getting harder to hide on this planet.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Golly. I thought the internet was a private place

Learn something new everyday I guess.

Good find!


If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.


“You need to educate yourself and your friends but in the end, you really have no control,” he said, adding that he was considering writing a program to troll the Internet for photos with geotags corresponding to users’ home addresses."