Your Uploaded Photos Reveal More Than You Think

By NBC Bay Area
|  Wednesday, Aug 18, 2010  |  Updated 12:10 PM PDT
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When you post pictures online, you may also be publishing your location and not even know it.

It turns out, the pictures you take on your GPS-enabled smartphone contain information known in the tech world as metadata, that shows exactly where the photo was taken.

The process is known as geotagging and adds information to the picture, such as when and exactly where -- down to the longitude and latitude -- the photo was snapped.

So, if you upload a picture of your child on their first day of school, for example, to your Facebook page, Picassa, SmugMug or Flickr album and they are public, anyone can save that photo and uncover the details. Most photo programs have a way to view the metadata or file information. 

It can be a useful tool for orgainzing your photos, but also very damaging, depending on who might access those details.

The setting to enable geotagging and can be turned off but the process is different for each smartphone so it's best to contact your service provider for more information about adjusting that setting.
 

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