Have you even used your iPhone to snap a picture of your children playing in the park? Perhaps you’ve taken photos of various things around your own home to share with your friends on Facebook, Flickr or MySpace. Unless you have disabled ‘Location Services’ on your iPhone’s camera you are exposing yourself, your children and your family to a largely unnoticed danger.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at one of the features in the popular and freely available Picasa software.
The reason is because the iPhone has a built in GPS and when you take a photo with it; by default, the phone will store GPS coordinates inside the image file! To do this the iPhone writes the coordinates to what is known as an EXIF tag.
If the photos of your precious children, or the $250,000 Porsche you have parked in your garage at home fell into the wrong hands then they could use this EXIF data to find out exactly where the photo was taken and I am sure you can work out where the danger in having such data exposed to the public like that lies.
Fortunately it is easily rectified. On your iPhone all you have to do is to go to ‘Settings’, ‘Location Services’, scroll down the screen until you find ‘Camera’ and then make sure the switch is turned to ‘Off’. Your camera will now stop recording latitude and longitude data in your photos and they will be free of any location data when you upload them on to the internet.
If you already have photos that have been taken with ‘Location Services’ turned on and you want to remove the GPS data you can do so by copying the pictures to your computer and then downloading and using this Exif Tag Remover software on them. The usage of this software is beyond the scope of this article but support can be found on their website.