A favorite pastime of many people who have smartphones with built-in GPS capability is taking candid photos and posting them online to social media accounts such as twitter, facebook, and such. What most of us don’t know, however, is that each picture can carry embedded GPS-generated location data that can be easily accessed by anyone whose smart phone has a deciphering app installed.

GPS deciphering apps can display the exact latitude and longitudinal coordinates where the picture was taken, and even translate this information into maps and street addresses.

For example, say your children, who live in another state, like to post snapshots of your grandchildren on facebook so you can keep up with their daily activities. During the course of a typical day, you might see snapshots of your grandchild at home, at school, at music lessons, at the park, and getting a hamburger at his/her favorite fast food restaurant.

With a deciphering app, the information embedded within each such photo can be used to construct a very specific time and location trail of your grandchild’s daily activities.

It’s not hard to understand why such information must be carefully guarded and not allowed to enter the public domain. The good news is that it’s relatively easy to block GPS data from being embedded in smartphone pictures. Simply find the correct settings menu on the phone and disable the recording of GPS information feature on your phone’s camera capability.

For additional details, watch the NBC news broadcast on this subject as captured on youtube at . . .

Advertisements