Most of us use the cameras built into our smartphones, but many people are not aware that when they snap a picture, personal data may be embedded inside the picture.
This data is referred to as ‘exchangeable image file format‘ (or EXIF) data and can include your exact location using GPS co-ordinates. If that picture is then uploaded to the internet, another person can download the picture and inspect the EXIF image data, pinpointing you.
In a previous post on this topic, I mentioned how EXIF image data was used by the FBI and Australian Federal Police to track down a member of the hacker group ”CabinCr3w”. This occurred again more recently when John McAfee (founder of McAfee Antivirus) was located after a reporter published online a picture of the two, which contained GPS co-ordinates of his (once) secret location. (Source)
While the Location services can be turned off in the settings of your smartphone, they can also be a useful feature.
Another option is to scrub the EXIF data from the image using an app on your smartphone. I have been using an Android app called Photo Editor (Google Play Store link)
EXIF Image Data competition – Can you find me ?
Click on the photo above to view it full size. Download it, View it, Share it.
Can you find my address ?
If you can find the location (street name) stored in this picture, you could win a $25 discount voucher, for use on your next booking.
Email your answer to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The first correct answer received by email will be announced the winner.