How Your Photo’s Metadata Can be used to Find Your Location
Are you aware that every photo you take with your smartphone or digital camera could potentially give away your home address to criminals? By using a photos metadata someone with malicious intent could find your home address, workplace or school by simply right clicking on an image.
In the age of social media, where everything we do is shared on social media for the world to see, we need to be incredibly careful with the data we give away.
Each time you take a photo with a digital camera or a smart phone, it creates data called EXIF, of “exchangeable image file format.” This data essentially geotags your photo with the GPS coordinates of where you took the image.
How do I remove image metadata from an image?
- Locate the picture on your iPhone.
- Open it and tap the Share button.
- Tap on Options and in the next pane (up top), toggle off Location and/or All Photos Data.
- From Google Play download the free app Photo Metadata Remover
Arguably the easiest way of removing any sensitive information from an image would be to screenshot the image you have just taken as this removed any geographical data in the image.
The easiest thing to do is just be careful.
While in most cases social medias will strip the meta data from the image for you it is still good practice to be vigilant when sharing anything publicly on social media.
Where we are now in the age of digital footprint being a massive part of a person’s history, affecting employability as well as many other factors in life. It also looks like it will only get increasingly ingrained in a person’s profile. It is more important than ever to be careful about what you post online and how it could be received.
How AI uses a photos location to catch you taking your selfies on CCTV.
Dries Depoorter, a Belgium-based public speaker and artist, launched his latest project in September 2022. Using open-access video surveillance cameras and AI, he managed to find video footage of influencers taking photos at popular landmarks.
The artist combined weeks of CCTV footage and scraped all Instagram photos in the locations of the cameras to find influencers who were there at the time of recording. He then trained an AI to compare the images to the cameras and find video footage of these influencers taking their shots, using facial recognition.
The video he uploaded on how he did it has since been taken down however the message behind this project still stands. Its that it is extremely easy to find out information about someone with a little bit of data.
If there’s one moral to the story is that you should always be extremely careful of what you share online to ensure that you, your family or your business are kept safe.
Read more about the Depoorter’s art – Dries Depoorter (@driesdepoorter) / Twitter
Find out about how cybercriminals can get information such as fingerprints and iris’ from a simple post – Biometric Data – How your Instagram post could be exposing it to criminals. | Genmar IT