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'I Can Stalk U' Reveals TwitPics as Creepy Tracking Devices

I Can Stalk U
We're so concerned with protecting our privacy and location on Foursquare and the new Facebook Places that we've all ignored the way we even more commonly betray our current whereabouts: our photos. Most photo formats allow a host of different metadata (camera type, GPS data, resolution, time taken and more) to be embedded in an image. GPS-equipped smartphones often include geolocation data in photos, and most software and photo-hosting sites leave that information intact. When you post photos via Twitter, you're likely sharing your location, even if you don't mean to do so. Granted, identifying that data is more difficult than it would be if you had simply applied a location to your tweet, but most moderately tech savvy users should have little trouble extracting it.

I Can Stalk U wants to alert everyone to the problem. The site watches Twitter for geotagged images, extracts the location data and turns them into simple declarations of location, including a link to the spot on Google Maps. You may have thought you were sharing a cute photo of your puppy, but I Can Stalk U translates that image to: "I am currently nearby 5 Main St Anytown, NY." The site isn't just here for scares, though; I Can Stalk U provides instructions for turning off geo-tagged photos on your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry device, and we suggest you adjust your settings before uploading your next TwitPic.

Tags: cellphones, icanstalku, photography, privacy, top, twitter



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