LOS ANGELES (CBS) — If you’re like many folks, posting pics of your kids online is no biggie. It might seem harmless, especially if you don’t print any information along with the photo on various social media, right?
Wrong. Big time.
If you’re using a smartphone camera, you could actually be revealing to strangers…your child’s exact location.
It’s called Geo Tagging, a feature that prints the address of where a photo was taken.
As Sandra Mitchell reported for the CBS2 News at 11 p.m. Monday, it’s a little known feature of various smartphones. When you take pictures, the camera automatically embeds the worldwide longitude and latitude coordinates of where the photo was taken.
Once you email or post that photo, the exact address where it was taken shows up.
Mitchell talked to several parents who had no idea this information was out there for all the world to see.
Said one mom, “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, in this day and age, that anything you put on the Internet could be tracked.”
For the record, Facebook and Craigslist don’t allow this tracker device to publish info, but many other social networking sites do, TwitPic for one. Flickr to name another.
Mitchell demonstrated how easy it is to turn off the feature.
It’s something heiress Paris Hilton might want to consider. When she tweeted about an intruder at her home last summer, she inadvertently gave the entire Twitter universe her home address.
Pictures you’ve posted that already had the geo tagging feature, well, you’re stuck. The address will be in cyberspace for good.
If you only uploaded the pics to your computer, Mitchell reports, you can wipe the address and location off by downloading a free program.