Beware of Posting Cell Phone and Digital Camera Photos On Line

01 Mar

I don’t usually post video “warnings” on my blog. But this one is an exception.  It’s almost amazing how much information may be included in a digital snapshot taken with a cell phone or digital camera.

In some instances you might want that information. Imagine that you were taking pictures of a criminal act; you’d probably want all of the relevant information captured.

In other instances (like photographing your stash of gold coins or your beautiful 12-year old daughter) you might not want all of the possible relevant information to be captured.

There’s nothing wrong with capturing all of the possible information available with your cell-phone photos, so long as access to those photos is kept private.  But once you post those photos on the internet, all of the information (and it’s not just the photo itself) is available to anyone who sees and analyzes your photo.  For example, a thief who sees you cell-phone photo of your gold on the internet can learn exactly where the photo was taken, and thereby know whichever house holds the gold.  A child molester, seeing a photo on the internet of your stunningly beautiful 12-year old daughter, could discover exactly where she lives.

There are damn few secrets in the digital age.

Here’s a video that explains the dangers of cell-phone and digital camera photos.

video     00:04:32


Posted by on March 1, 2014 in Privacy, Technology, Video


Tags: ,

13 responses to “Beware of Posting Cell Phone and Digital Camera Photos On Line

  1. coder4life

    March 1, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Someone can also use a simple hex editor to view the file structure of the picture. What does that really mean to the uninformed? Well basically buried in what appears to be a photo to a photo viewing program is other information. A hex editor will reveal things like the time and date the photo was taken as well as the device make and model the photo was taken with. Other things may be hidden in there as well. One example were sound files made for a version of windows operating system. The subcontractor who made them for Microsoft used a pirated version of a sound program and whenever a project created with that program was saved it puy extra information in the file saying it was made with a cracked copy of the program and who the cracker was the cracked the version of that program you used to make it. Viewing files in hex is not the most fun thing to do but it can be a revelation

  2. Toland

    March 1, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Fear not. There’s lots of software available for free that will remove all that compromising metadata from your pictures.

    A quick web search turns up many examples.

    • J.M.

      March 9, 2014 at 12:02 AM

      @Fear not.

      ok. There is always a better way to build a mousetrap. There are 2 kinds of overcomers. Some of US v. ALL of them. Technology is not advancing huh? ohh ok

  3. J.M.

    March 2, 2014 at 12:59 AM

    @ >This is Britain’s GCHQ how-to guide for Online Covert Action which, according to Glenn Greenwald (see links below) has been shared with US agencies like the NSA. Upon review, it can only be described as government-sponsored subterfuge of domestic society.
    According to these latest documents, there are paid government agent/contractor persons on social media posing as someone they are not, whilst on the payroll of the government. Their job is to befriend members of the alternative media, embed themselves in the ebb and flow of day-to-day communications, and then to engage in elaborate subterfuge – by any means necessary. The training exercise below uses terms like “befriend”, “infiltrate”, “mask/mimic”, “ruse”, “set-up”, “disrupt”, “create cognitive stress”, “use deception”, “ruin business relationships”, and “post negative information on appropriate forums” – all of which is not only illegal and morally bankrupt, but also runs completely contrary to the very fundamental ‘values’ and indeed founding principles, of a modern free democratic society or constitutional republic.

    Government targets in this malicious operation appear to be bloggers, activists, journalists, social event organisers and anyone else deemed to be a ‘emerging leader’ or voice in the public sphere, or alternative media online.

    This obviously extends way beyond the practice of employing paid ‘trolls’ to pollute comment sections and redirect forum threads – which still exists under both government and corporate umbrellas.

    To pollute comment??? HOW??? Does this have anything to do with “SOME” of my messages not completely going through, posting completely?

    > redirect forum threads??? will ANYONE be so kind as to give an example of what this means & how it is done? THANKS !!!! Inquiring minds want to know.

    • J.M.

      March 2, 2014 at 8:12 AM

      Thanks to Jethro for the above info. He posted the link. That which is stated above is only a part of the entire message.

  4. citizenquasar

    March 2, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Thanks for posting this, Al. I have been aware of GPS cameras for some time but I was unaware of software like IRFANview, I downloaded it with all its modules and installed it. Then I tested it with some pictures taken by both my camera. and my cellphone and the map location function did not appear.

    I remember when I was shopping for my camera I specifically sought out one that did NOT have a GPS function on it. At a bare minimum that function tells the government where every picture you snap was taken from. Now I see that that information is easily retrievable off of any picture taken with such a camera that has been uploaded to the internet.

    I do NOT have a Facebook account and I do NOT want one. However, I did have a MySpace account several years ago. I was always amazed at how many of those accounts had people’s pictures of their little children posted there for the whole world to see, occasionally with street addresses. Every time I saw one, I thought to myself, “Here is what my children look like. Please come kidnap them and molest them.” With GPS cameras and software such as IRFANview, this is exactly what can be done.

  5. Lyndon

    March 2, 2014 at 11:12 AM

    Thanks for the heads-up Al.

  6. tim

    March 2, 2014 at 7:13 PM

    I found many of my old and newer photos that had the capability to be tracked. Thank you for the alert, very much appreciated

  7. Rosaline

    March 5, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    We stumbled over here different website and thought I should check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.

    • J.M.

      March 9, 2014 at 3:05 PM

      Hey thanks Rosie.
      @ Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.

      When? Maybe this is what I have not taken into consideration. Most people really do love to help each other. I know when you “look over” this web page again you will not be another one that “overlooks” a request for help, let’s call it a plea for help. Some people just don’t plead or know how to beg humbly enough. I am proof of this.

  8. J.M.

    March 8, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    March 5, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    Hi Rosaline, may I ask, if you will, please scroll up to the 3rd message posted & read it, & notice the questions I ask about that post & tell me if I am understanding what is being said. I have asked several others to help me in this regard but nobody cares enough to do that. The last two statements are what I want to know. Sometimes I don’t know for sure what is being said Will you do this for me, please.

    • J.M.

      March 10, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      Now, it’s the 4th comment, I,J.M. want to understand, the comment/message that starts out, >This is Britain’s GCHQ how-to guide for Online Covert Action which………….”

    • Russell Arms

      June 29, 2015 at 5:09 AM

      @ I have asked several others to help me in this regard but nobody cares enough to do that. The last two statements are what I want to know. Sometimes I don’t know for sure what is being said Will you do this for me, please.
      Requests for help from Trolls will never get any help from the Intelligentsia. Didn’t you know that?


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