Wednesday, January 5, 2011


In which our Heroine freaks out her already dwindling readership. 

I’m sure that many of you right now are groaning about Tara’s weird paranoia/surveillance fixation.  I worry that I do it at my own detriment.  I do actually want most of you to stick with me and keep reading my blog, you know.   I’ll admit that I picture my mother-in-law going “What is she up to now?”  Well, today I put my successful blogging future at possible risk.  I plan to infuse all my readers with my paranoia.  Today I’ve included several quotes taken from a power-point that has been circulating around the military and from there to employees of the Municipality of Anchorage, which is how I got a hold of it.  Without further ado:
“In August of 2010, Adam Savage, of “MythBusters,” took a photo of his vehicle using his smartphone. He then posted the photo to his Twitter account including the phrase “off to work.” Since the photo was taken by his smartphone, the image contained metadata revealing the exact geographical location the photo was taken.  So by simply taking and posting a photo, Savage revealed the exact location of his home, the vehicle he drives and the time he leaves for work.”
The following was published in Wired Magazine in 2009: “I ran a little experiment. On a sunny Saturday, I spotted a woman in Golden Gate Park taking a photo with a 3G iPhone. Because iPhones embed geodata into photos that users upload to Flickr or Picasa, iPhone shots can be automatically placed on a map. At home I searched the Flickrmap, and score—a shot from today. I clicked through to the user’s photo stream and determined it was the woman I had seen earlier. After adjusting the settings so that only her shots appeared on the map, I saw a cluster of images in one location. Clicking on them revealed photos of an apartment interior—a bedroom, a kitchen, a filthy living room. Now I know where she lives.”

Just for effect, I’ve included the creepy photo from the slide presentation. 
If you are not completely creeped out by now, then I don’t understand you.  In a nutshell, the subject here is about something called Geotagging.  To elucidate: “Geotagging is the process of adding geographical identification to photographs, video, websites and SMS messages. It is the equivalent of adding a 10-digit grid coordinate to everything you post on the internet. Geotags are automatically embedded in pictures taken with smartphones.  Many people are unaware of the fact that the photos they take with their smartphones and load to the Internet have been geotagged.  Photos posted to photo sharing sites like Flickr and Picasa can also be tagged with location, but it is not an automatic function. 
Just to hammer it home I will add the fact that I have used various Flickr photos in things that I’ve done, both on this blog and in personal creative pursuits.  In one instance, I had only to type in the location of my home town by name, and someone’s personal shots popped up for my use.  At this point, Jon and I have been broke for enough years that I am basically the equivalent of a technological cretin (because we never buy the most up-to-date technology).  If I can do this much, then I suggest you let your imagination run wild and try to visualize what a real creep-master could do.   It’s not particularly good for the soul, but it does prove my point a little.

1 comment:

  1. Okay, that is really creepy. I will definitely rethink what photos I upload to Facebook from now on. I wonder if they are still geotagged if you transfer them to your computer, THEN upload them?