Monday, August 22, 2011

Online Security: Am I Over-Sharing?

This could potentially be "old news" to most people. Well, it wasn't to me until my friend and colleague (Thanks, Ed) asked me and told me about GeoTagging.

Wow! That's some awesome stuff.  What this means is I don't have to remember the places where I took the photo from as it's all stored in the picture itself (in terms of longitude and latitude coordinates), right? Well, you have to have the proper gear for it like a Nikon D3X with a GP-1 GPS Unit attachment, for example.

Or ... how about an iPhone 4.  Everyone (well, almost everyone, or maybe most) has got that!

Cool! Now I can take all the photos that I want, all the places I've been to, take photos of my kids, at the playground, at home, take photos of my Audi S7, my house, my beach house, etc.

Ah, it would be nice to share these photos to my friends and relatives and post them in my "Dropbox" and "Skydrive" and my "Picasa Web Album". And, don't forget my photography blog. I'm sure everyone who's following my blogs would love to see the pictures I've taken. 

And, before I do that and share those photos to everyone, let me just blur out some "personal" stuff, like my rego number (from my Audi S7) and my house number and street name, just in case they are visible from the photo when I took the photo of my Audi S7. Don't want to be advertising where we live, you know.

Done. Easy. Everything secured. Privacy kept.


How about the GeoTags of the photos you've taken?

I've blurred the block or site address and names to protect the innocent, but have I removed the geotag (Photo GPS metadata, in terms of latitude, longitude and even altitude)? Obviously not. But I did find a freeware that can alter the GPS data. Removing it via Windows properties don't seem to work for me.

For Mac Users, but still quite a valuable information to Windows tragics like me, here's some more information about Over-Sharing Data.

Moral of the story: Remove all personal information from your photo properties before uploading, or limit the "Location Services" functionality of your iPhone 4, if possible.

Disclaimer: Situations, objects and luxury items stated here are for illustration purposes only. I neither confirm nor deny that I have a Nikon D3X with a GP-1 GPS unit, an iPhone 4, an iPad 2, a Mac, a "Dropbox" account, a "Skydrive", an Audi S7 (oh how I wish), that I live in Canterbury, or I have a beach house in Portsea and Torquay, or a summer holiday house in Maui.

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