WARNING: your photos may have embedded GPS info

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WARNING: your photos may have embedded GPS info

Postby Mark » 22 Dec 2010 00:44

FAO: ALL FORUM MEMBERS WHO COLLECT MILITARIA

I know many of you post images of valuable items in your personal collections such as medals, swords and other Victorian militaria in showcases and other threads. Please, therefore, take note of the following...

An issue has come to my attention through a forum connected to Rolex watches (another passion of mine). It appears a member on said forum posted photos of his Rolex collection which had been taken using the camera on his iPhone. Sadly his collection was then later stolen. It has been suggested (by a US police officer in a private PM to myself) that thieves may have used the photos to ascertain the home of the member. It appears (and I have checked this out myself with shocking results!) that by default iPhones and some Smartphones embed the GPS location of where the photo was taken in the picture file. By saving the file to your computer you can look at the properties of the file (right click and properties) to obtain the GPS coordinates then use Google Maps to pinpoint the location where the photo was taken. When you upload your images online this GPS information remains with the image. Apparently thieves are now known to be abusing this system.

While I would hope that this is highly unlikely to happen to members of the VWF I felt it wise to post this thread just as a warning. If you do use your iPhone or Smartphone camera to take photos of your valuable collectors items please ensure you turn the GPS tracking information off first - or better still use a digital camera!

Mark
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Re: WARNING: Posting photos of collectors items on the forum

Postby swordcollector1 » 22 Dec 2010 11:42

VERY interesting post - thanks, Mark!

John
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Re: WARNING: Posting photos of collectors items on the forum

Postby Mark » 22 Dec 2010 11:49

You are welcome, John! Its very sad that the technology developed to help us in life is also turned against us by those who wish to do harm.

Stay safe!

Mark
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Re: WARNING: Posting photos of collectors items on the forum

Postby Swordswoman » 18 Feb 2011 02:27

Thank you for the warning, Mark - that's really excellent advice.

If anyone is unsure how to disable the tracking system on their phone, this chilling little website provides more detail:
http://icanstalku.com/

I find it very depressing.

Louise
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Re: WARNING: Posting photos of collectors items on the forum

Postby jersey » 18 Feb 2011 05:09

The nasties always seem to be one step ahead of the goodies. Thanks for that info Mark.

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