Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Dangers of Geo Tags and Cylons

Sorry, had Cylons on the mind while writing this and hence the title. (Feel free to comment and tell me why you are or aren't a Cylon)

Do you own a Smart Phone or a newer digital camera maybe ? I'm sorry but Commander Adama won't allow it aboard the ship. (42 Geek Points to you if you smiled at that) (1)

All joking aside
- The smart phones and many of the new digital cameras have GPS in them that will geotag your photos with "meta data". This meta data can not be seen in the photos but computers programs available to any, can read them with ease. I'm using meta tags right now to get more blog traffic from the search engine toasters in fact.

In my last blog we talked a bit about cyber stalkers. Can you think of someone you wouldn't want to know where you are ? Due to geo tagging I could very easily go rob many nice things if I were that kind of person. It's easy to find geo tagged photos on Craigslist and many other places along with things like "I won't be home til after 5"

Don't think it will happen to you ? It's already happened to many, including celebrities. My favorite was the very tech savvy Adam Savage. If you don't know he's one of the stars of the incredibly popular (and awesome) MythBusters.

When he uploaded a picture of his jeep to twitter he did more than tell people he was going to work. He told them exactly where his house was. When asked about it he said that he was fully aware of geo tagging but had forgotten to turn it off on his smart phone. He has since disabled the geo tagging feature on his phone and has moved to a new home.

I was going to type in all the fixes for you but instead found a great (and scary site) called I Can Stalk You which has step by step instructions with pictures on how to disable it on smart phones.

By the way, if you suspect you may be a Cylon, the first test should always be to look and see if you are shiny and made of a metal alloy. 

(1) - Geek points are non-transferable and are only used to purchase my love. See FDA warning for side effects of my love.

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