Cell Phone Photos Privacy Risk Warning

Aug 14, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

If you are one of the slew of people circulating those 'Cell Phone Privacy Risk' video warnings, please stop. Yes, yes, photos taken with cell phones or smart phones can have GPS information stored in the photo metadata (called EXIF data). But, first of all, this data is removed by Facebook and Twitter (not Flickr though). And you can very easily turn off your GPS before you take a photo. But more to the point, why bother? It's not like nobody can determine the location of anyone without mobile phone GPS data. Just walk on the street, and you can immediately verify the locations of hundreds of random people. So stop spreading unwarranted fear with these videos. It's ridiculous. (p.s. thanks Shirley Ryan Downes for the link).

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