Potential Privacy Risks from Sharing Smartphone Photos over the Web

Parents Beware: Depending on your settings, your Smartphone may be embedding GPS location data in each picture you take with it. If you then share these pictures via Facebook, Photobucket, Instagram or other such services, anyone viewing the picture can have access to the precise location where the picture was taken, including address information! So, if you take a picture at home and post it, you’ve just unwittingly shared your home address with the world via the internet. Take a picture of your child at their playground and post it and you’ve just shown the world where your child plays. Scary, right? The implications for predatory behavior are obvious, and it is critical that you understand how this feature works so that you can protect yourself and your family.

The good news is that you have the ability to control this setting. It can be easily turned on or off depending on whether you WANT to have the location data embedded in the photo. Consult your device manual or the customer service department for your cell carrier for details on how to enable/disable this function on your specific device.

Click here for a link to an investigative news report detailing the dangers of this phone setting which you can watch for more information.