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GeoTags Invade Your Privacy

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Did you know that if you share photos taken with many newer cameras or phones there is a GeoTag added with the exact location where the image was taken?

You can usually block this feature fairly easily just as you can usually turn off the GPS feature of your electronic device but many models default to having GPS tracking and GeoTagging ON.

GeoTags can be a great way to organize your images and professional photographers often pay more to add GPS to their cameras.

But consider the security threat if you photograph your new high-end TV, or your cute 5 year old, or that new engagement ring.

You probably don't take out a newspaper ad to publish your exact address and announce your great new purchase.

You probably also don't mail local pedophiles your child's photo with your home address or the name of the school where your kid can be found on the playground, but if you use a smartphone or digital camera to take pictures that is exactly what you are doing when you post those photos online.

You probably don't want your exact location known to the person who stole your phone or found it where you dropped it.

The simple solution is to shut off the GPS feature, but sometimes you want or need it and GeoTags can be very useful, so you may want to get some GeoTag security such as the tools sold by http://www.geotagsecurity.com/ to remove GeoTags from any images you intend to put online.

(This isn't an endorsement of their particular software, I haven't tested it personally.)

GeoTags can be good, for example, would you like to know where your teenager was partying when they took that wild photo you see on their web page or their friend's Facebook?

Also of course there is the threat/security of police being able to read your GeoTags - a real two edged sword.

In some areas cell phone data is routinely downloaded from those who are arrested, even for minor traffic violations.

John McCormick is a reporter, /science/medical columnist and finance and social commentator, with 17,000+ bylined stories. He also worked as a computer security specialist and photojournalist for decades. Contact John through NewsBlaze.

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