Thursday, February 03, 2011

Way Too Much Info

We decided to take the time to do a "public service announcement" today.  But please, if you want to share this information, share the link to this blog post and don't just grab the links out of it to send to all your FB or twitter friends. That's what has been done to a number of our posts and to be honest, that's just plain rude.

This will be a surprise to many of you who post a lot of photos online - your blog, facebook, twitter, any photo album, etc.

We had no idea some cameras and smart phones have a built in GPS that automatically tags your pictures and puts the exact location of where that photo was taken online when you post those photos. For example, the mother who posted a photo of her daughter's shoes online and tagging along with it was her home address. After you watch this, you might want to check your own posted photos.  This is waaaaaay too much information going public, especially as much of it is without the knowledge and consent of the photographer.

You can view the video here.

We don't have a smart cell phone - not even a dumb cell phone - or new camera but some of you might or will have down the line, so we'd like to make you aware this technology is around. The last thing we want our humans to do is to post such personal information online for just anyone to pick up.

For more information, visit I Can Stalk U. It will explain how to disable auto geo tagging on your phone. And be sure to click on the different tabs, such as "Why."

Excerpt from I Can Stalk U:  Now, we love Twitter and posting photos of our lunch, however, we don't feel that enough people realize what kind of data they are posting, albeit inadvertantly. By posting this information, they are allowing their movements to be recorded and analyized by anyone: from a government to a nosy neighbor. After analyzing your photos, someone could find out:

* Where you live
* Who else lives there
* Your commuting patterns
* Where you go for lunch each day
* Who you go to lunch with
* Why you and your attactive co-worker really like to visit a certain nice restaurant on a regular basis

Be aware of what you are posting. Twitter, Facebook, Picasa - we use these and they all want to publicly post where we are tweeting or posting from or where our picture was taken. We don't allow this.

Handing out your personal information like it's Halloween candy - to anyone who comes across a photo you posted - is totally unnecessary and for most of us, unwarranted . In this day and age, being circumspect could possibly save your life!


  1. Wow! Thanks for this PSA. It's scary all the personal information that gets out there!! We'll check these sites out.

  2. Thank you, for this information. We don't use any of that smart stuff but we are still glad to know this. Hugs and nose kisses

  3. This is very scary information! Thanks for letting us know. We try to be careful, but it's hard to control everything. (Deb, too, has a very dumb phone -- it doesn't even know how to take pictures :-)

  4. Thanks! I had heard about this, but I didn't have this much detail. Fortunately, the ONLY gadget I have is a very dumb camera!

  5. Yes, it is very scary. Mom has to be careful especially when posting about the little ones. We have been hearing bad things about scammers and she is even considering ending our blog - gasp! But we all have to be so careful these days. Thanks for spreading this info.

    Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  6. Jan!!! I don't mean to detract from this really important info (that's frankly really scary and so a stalker's dream!!! Yuk!) but I was so fascinated by the newsreader's hair!! Liz? The female newsreader!! Her hair was just amazing!!! I want her hair!! LOL!! My hair is like long and straight and lifeless but look at hers!! Wow!!

    Anyway!!!! LOL!! This is where technology is not your friend!!! Thanks for this reminder and the links too!! Take care! x

  7. That's really scary. Now I'm glad I don't own any cell phone at all and that my camera doesn't have GPS in it. Gees.

    Something else to be aware of, that I didn't know, is that bank cards, drivers licences, etc. with "security" chips in them easily can be scanned from up to 30 feet away and your info obtained. There was a doc on TV last week about this and I was freaked.

  8. I knew about all the extra data that anyone can acquire from looking at a photo, but not the fact that you could have the latitude and longitude of the location. I use Picasa software and I know that they have geotagging, but I never understood what it was (nor have I ever used it) I do. SO interesting. Thank you for this information!


  9. great post jan.
    just another reason we stay low key in technology, no gps gadgets, etc. no twitter nor facebook in our home. and i make sure to go over my posts at least 2-3 times per to check for anything odd.

    call me old skool but i appreciate my privacy and control over what comes and goes thru my computer. that is why i limit it to blogging only.

    thansk for sharing the word though, hopefully it will raise awareness to those who did not know what their phones and camera were actually doing.

  10. The last thing I want is for my human to inadvertently reveal the address to MY house! I will instruct her to be careful about the photos she takes with that dumb Blackberry of hers.

  11. FWIW, she just looked at the options for the camera part of her Blackberry, and you are able to disable the geotagging function there. Hers was already disabled, fortunately.

  12. very, very scary stuff...thanks for sharing!

  13. Nothin' is private anymore! Dis is scary. We don't have any of dat modern techy stuffs in our house but we'll tell Mum to warn odders!

  14. Luckily, we don't have anything as high-tech as that!!! But that is pretty crazy... and useless! Why would they even invent something like that???

  15. Thanks for posting this, I had no idea. I don't have a smart gizmo but it's good info to file away for the future.l

  16. There are so many nutty sites out there with all yor info. Scary
    Benny & Lily

  17. OMD!
    That is scary!
    No smart (?) things here but sure is important to know about it!
    Thanks a lot for sharing it!
    Kisses and hugs

  18. I never realized this. Of course, I doubt anything I have could be classified as "smart", but then, you never know.
    Thank you so much for the post and research.

  19. Oh wow... that's just weird and scary...

    thanks fur letting us know.

    Katie Kat

  20. Thank you for reminding us. I am constantly aware of danger online ~ and after reading your post I am right to be.

    (Milo and Alfie's mom)

  21. Thanks for letting us know this Jan - we've been and looked at these sights and had no idea that they could pin point an exact location from a photo.

  22. Great post - after I lost my blog I got nervous about what happened and changed all my passwords to number, punctuation letter combinations and took all the personal info off Facebook like where I live, work etc. just in case. Scary thought but things can be traced back to you even if you only allow friends to read. Don't have smart phone or fancy camera but this is good to know.

  23. That was very interrrrrrrrresting information you passed on to us. We did not know any of that - of course we don't use a cell phone. Pellie says if they can't call her when she is sitting home - nobody had to call when she is out having a good time.


  24. My Heavens! We are still so Twentieth Century in Our thinking, We thank you very much for this information! To think, if only the minds who sort out such hi-tech spying and malicious reasons to use the technology could instead channel their creativity to curing illnesses that plague the Planet...Our mind boggles...

  25. Thanks Jan... sadly, you are so right on with all of this.
    The main reason we don't Tweet,
    don't do FB, and don't use Picasa!
    ... being old fashioned girls, don't even have a cell phone! A dumb one, a smart one... neither.
    Take care friend.

  26. excellent info. For the phone ( have a dumb phone) geo info is handy of you are lost, calling the 911 operator etc in the event of an emergency. That's about it. I never enabled the geo tag in my camera. Just for that reason you so well stated. Thank you for a great public service.

  27. That is really good information. Luckily my phone does not take pictures. I just use it for emergency's so it is hardly ever on.But glad to know this. Facebook is kind of scary with so many people on there. Thanks Jan for a great post.

  28. this is very important information that every kitty, doggie and bean needs to know.
    You explained it well, and now all of us know.
    We live in interesting times indeed.

    bonks happybonkful week-end

  29. It is scary, jsut today the librarian where I work geave a talk to the kids on just this subject. No more pics of Sweet Pea that is for sure. Thanks for the info and have a great weekend.

  30. Thank you for posting this information.

    It really is so sad when our friends decide to stop posting because of things like this.

    Is there really anything safe these days? hmmmmmm

    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx


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