If you are one of the millions of Smartphone users who posts pictures online, you may be putting up more than you think. There's more than meets the eye with photo uploads...with the touch of a button you can show the world your photos. But you can also be revealing information you may not want to share. Like the exact location of where you live, work, play and go on vacation.
There are more than 100 billion photos currently posted online with thousands being uploaded every minute. From kids to pets, vacations and graduations.
Jennifer miner is a mom and a blogger who puts up photos all the time,
She posts pictures of her kids, her home, vacation spots and more wherever she is.
But what you see online is only half the story.
Techno Buffalo President Jon Rettinger said, “Smart phones have a GPS chip built into them and whenever you snap a photo it actually puts the location of exactly where that photo.”
Jon Rettinger is a technology expert. He says the same technology that helps people see real-time traffic updates and find directions on their phones, also leads to GPS coordinates being attached to pictures, “And not only do you know exactly where it was taken but you know what time that the picture was shot.”
And all it takes to find someone's location --based solely on a picture --is the right computer program and just a couple of minutes.
We decided to see just how easy it really is --- a producer took pictures of just my face at locations around Los Angeles...we posted them to my twitter account and asked Rettinger to figure out where I was.
Just by right clicking on all of the photos....Rettinger was able to pinpoint my locations
With more than 70 million Americans currently using Smartphones... Smartphone tracking has become a hot button issue.
Just this month executives from Apple and Google were questioned about it on Capitol Hill.
But the good news for Smartphone users....turning off the location of your pictures is easy...
Just go to settings and it says geo-location, and you switch it off, and that is it, that's all you need to do.
That's something Jennifer Miner plans to do on her Blackberry-- up until now, she had no idea her pictures could be tracked, “You never know what somebody is thinking of course. So why take chances? Better safe than sorry. “
It's interesting to note that our expert had never tried to read the location of a picture before, but he said it took him a total of 10 minutes to get the right program off the internet and learn how to do it. And once we posted our pictures it took him less than 30 seconds to find the locations.