Am I a privacy freak? Yes, without a doubt. I've abandoned the social networking sites folks had recommended as "good for business." You won't see me on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter. You won't see casual snapshots of my "kids" (two Siamese sisters) that I took with a smartphone on my blogs or websites. Why not? I read an article about geotags and about how cellphones and digital cameras with built-in GPS can reveal the exact location of where the photo was taken. I had a real wake-up call. Families with children posting to social networking sites need the same wake-up call.
In the New York Times, Kate Murphy wrote about Adam Savage, host of the popular science program “MythBusters.” Savage posted a picture on Twitter of his automobile parked in front of his house. In doing so, he let his fans know not only that he drove a Toyota Land Cruiser, but also the longitude and latitude of where the photo was taken. Because his "Tweet" said he was going off to work, potential thieves knew he would not be at home for hours.
As Murphy and others point out, folks who post photos and videos taken with GPS-equipped smartphones and digital cameras to the Internet are compromising not only their privacy, but perhaps also their safety or that of their families.
Oh, and here are the kids: Sabrina on the left [R.I.P.] and Jade and Jasmine in front discussing who will have the last bite of tuna on "Sushi Night." [Taken with a very old camera--no geotags]
Read more here: "Web Photos That Reveal Secrets, Like Where You Live" published in the New York Times on August 11, 2010. Instructions for removing geotags can be found in the article.