Good Examples of Accidentally Sharing Geotag Information?
November 28, 2012 11:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for good examples of apps or situations where it's easy to accidentally share geotag information.

I'd like to show a good demo of accidentally sharing geotag info. I've tried sharing a geotagged photo on Twitter (Android client), but it looks like EXIF data is stripped if you use Twitter's default picture server (which is the garden path).

I've also tried Instagram (Android client), but there's lots of opt-in mechanisms, so it's not so easy to accidentally share one's location data.

Foursquare is also designed so that only your friends plus people at your current checked-in venue can see that you are there.

So does anyone have other good ideas? (iPhone would be fine)
posted by jasonhong to Technology (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Uploads to Flickr?

If you don't want only photo examples, I know some people who have never turned off the Twitter/Facebook geotag option.

Or another example, people explicitly tweeting their location without thinking about the consequences.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:29 AM on November 28, 2012

When I tweet through the Twitter website, it shows my location as [city] but the iOS app will show it to the block level. I did NOT realize they were different until I looked at one of my past tweets.
posted by desjardins at 11:34 AM on November 28, 2012

I turn off geotagging when posting pics taken at home to Flickr. I like to keep geotagging on for stuff I take around the city or in the park, so I don't want to turn it off completely on my iphone. However a few times I have edited photos later at home and the editing app automatically tagged it as taken at home and they were added to Flickr without me noticing. I had to manually delete the geotags later when I noticed.
posted by photoexplorer at 11:54 AM on November 28, 2012

Also people can tag you on Facebook as at a specific place with others. Can't remember if you have to approve it first or not before it shows up in the news feed. I think it's automatic if your friend tags you.
posted by photoexplorer at 11:58 AM on November 28, 2012

uploading a photo to facebook, I think from the iphone client, can show the location.
posted by jacalata at 12:30 PM on November 28, 2012

Yeah, Flickr. Flickr actually has an interesting, nerdy feature that shows they've thought about this: you can geofence certain areas, so that if you upload a photo from an area you don't want publicly locatable without turning off geotagging, Flickr won't show it's geotag.
posted by adamrice at 1:57 PM on November 28, 2012

Even with all geotagging options switched off you may still be sharing your location with your cellphone provider via signal triangulation and pinging. Exactly who else gets to the this information will vary according to your operator: security and emergency services probably - but possibly other commercial clients (see the discussion amongst various bail enforcement agents at the bottom of the link above for an illustration).
posted by rongorongo at 2:46 PM on November 28, 2012

Email definitely doesn't strip GPS Exif data, and SMS might not either?
posted by arsey at 5:39 PM on November 28, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks all. The Flickr one sounds plausible. Please feel free to keep adding any other kinds of smartphone apps that might make it easy to accidentally share geotag info.

Arsey, yes, email does not strip EXIF data, and I doubt SMS does. I'm looking more for social media things though, but still much appreciated.
posted by jasonhong at 7:03 PM on November 28, 2012

I noticed the current iPhone Facebook client shares geo info when messaging now. I was typing to a friend and noticed that little purple compass indicator near the end of my words. I pressed it so it was grayed out before sending my message. But I did notice that my friend's comments now often say "sent from city, state". Not that I would have cared if I had inadvertently let my city show up in that case, but given the many ways people use Facebook it's not too hard to imagine this causing some drama. I'm guessing not everyone knows what that symbol means.
posted by mikepop at 5:43 AM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

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