Stalking, much easier now with geotagging
By Stela Roman
So, we complain about Facebook privacy issues. We blame it on being so shameless and not caring about it's users.
But let's look at those users. What are they doing to protect their privacy? Are they really thinking about the risks when they post their full adresses, the time when they go on vacation, their telephones? But, have you tried this new option, how is it called — geotagging, yet?
Basically, it means that you publish precise geo-coordinates embedded into the shared texts, photos and videos to the Web.
Today's mobile devices and their accompanying applications tap into the phone's GPS or use Wi-Fi triangulation to append geotags, or locational information, to the items recorded with the phone, whether that's an update posted to Twitter, a photo uploaded to Flickr or a video sent to YouTube.
The danger is that some users aren't aware that their information is being geotagged. For example, Apple's iPhone by default embeds high-precision geo-coordinates within all photos and videos taken with the internal camera unless explicitly switched off in the phone's settings.
The International Computer Science Institute (ICSI), a non-profit research organization in Berkeley, California confirms that geotagged text, photos and videos (those that include location information) can be used by criminals and other dangerous parties to mount real-world attacks.
So, apparently, people don't care about being "cybercased", robbed, stalked etc. Because, hey, how cool it will be to tweet from Eifel Tower? Let's make everyone jealous.