Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tracking Your Photos

Smart phones are truly amazing gadgets. You can use them as a phone, play games, surf the web, connect with friends, and with of them you can take photos and video. My iPhone for instance takes fantastic photos and I can use really cool apps such as Instagram and Hipstomatic to customize my pictures and make them look retro, black and white etc. One one of the nice things it that the apps can track the location as to where that picture was taken so that I can easily determine where each picture was taken when reviewing my pics at a later date (I take a lot of pictures!). However one of the dangerous things about these apps is that they can track the location as to where that picture was taken. That means when you upload your pictures to social networking sites, flickr, blogs etc anyone who views those pictures can potentially see where that picture was taken. 

Since many of us use our cameras to take pictures of our family and children, this could potentially be a dangerous thing - especially since a lot of people do not take the time to adjust their privacy settings in sites like Facebook (learn how here).  In the past few months there has been a lot of talk about smart phones and locational tracking services - you can read more here or watch this video.  But don't despair! You can easily disable, or review at least the location services for each app on your smart phone - the website I Can Stalk U has easy to follow directions for a variety of phones.  Don't let your smart phone be smarter than you!

~Krista Robinson, Information Technology Development Librarian

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