Geo Tagging Dangers
Nearly all of my students who have cellphones have "smart phones." One of the inherent problems of having a smart phone is that by default they usually "geo-tag" any pictures uploaded to the Internet.
Loosely defined, "geo-tag" means that any photo is "tagged" with information about the location from where it was taken -- the longitude, latitude and other sensitive data. If your child has a Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, Twitter, or Photobucket account, this can be a serious issue.
Any stalker can download Opanda Software (a free download) and use it to open any viewable picture. If the camera has tagged the picture with GPS data, Opanda is sure to find it. Also by default, Facebook geo-tags all content as well. When a photo is geo-tagged, a predator does not need to wait, or even do extensive research to zero in on the location of potential victims' school or home.
The above picture is of my son at the Orange County Fair. Information about the camera, the owner and GPS are all available through Opanda.
For further information on geo-tagging, please read this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geotagging
Also -- parents, many of us take pictures of our children with our phones and share them. I strongly suggest you turn off the GPS function for both your phone's camera and your child's.
This CNET video describes how to turn off geo-tagging on iPhones, Android phones, and Blackberries.
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