Taking a picture with your smartphone? Now we know where you are!

Share photos on twitter with TwitpicThis one picture alone revealed that the camera holder was eating outside a strip mall in Industry, California around 6:45PM. No captions were necessary – could your photos be giving you away too?

Siiii! Dejenme probar y ahogarme en su charco de envidiaaa! on TwitpicAnd this photo alone tells that this man’s mixed drink is probably sitting on a table at his home in Piedras Negras, Mexico.

 

These folks probably have no idea that their pictures, taken with their smartphones, are giving away their exact whereabouts.  With the picture taken at a home, a person could use Google Maps to determine the exact address, use an online phone book or property site to find out who lives there, then using those names reveal information about their jobs through LinkedIn, personal interests and ramblings on Facebook, and any social involvement with organizations.  Digging further, one could continue searching for information about family members.

Reporters and journalists have been doing this type of research for years, and thanks to the Internet, now it’s available to anyone who knows how to put the pieces together.  Yes, it can be scary – just be careful when posting any information, pictures included, online.

Back in November 2010, a major news outlet covered the dangers of this “feature”.  Watch the Youtube video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2vARzvWxwY

For those who are curious, these pictures were found at http://icanstalku.com/, a site that aggregates pictures posted by Twitter users.  Instructions for disabling the “feature” mentioned above on many smartphones is also available on that site.

Isaac Grover is the chief information technology consultant at Quality Computer Services.  When he’s not enveloped in technology, he enjoys being with his family and being involved in the community.
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