I take a lot of pictures with my iPhone. If while I’m out and about I see something that I think would make a nice photo, I don’t hesitate to take a picture of it. This habit gets on my wife’s last nerve, but I just can’t seem to help it. I like taking pictures! So naturally, if we go on vacation, I take a lot of pictures so we’ll have a lot of visual memories to take home with us. Besides driving my wife mad, I never really thought any harm could come from people taking pictures, but I’m apparently very wrong on this subject.
Say you went to South Africa and went on a safari. Naturally, if you had a smartphone with a decent camera you would take pictures of the animals you were lucky enough to see. And, if you’re like most of us, you would then post some of those pictures to social media so all of your friends and family could see them. Unfortunately, though, it’s not just your friends and family who are looking at your pictures – poachers might be looking at them too, trying to figure out where to find their next kill. Unbeknownst to many who snap pictures with their smartphones, unless a certain feature has been disabled ahead of time, your pictures can include geotagging information which makes it very easy for people to figure out exactly where your photo was taken. And when poachers figure out where the photo was taken, we know what unfortunately can happen next; they’re not there for the scenery.
Those in South Africa have learned this the hard way as is evidenced by the signs and warnings regarding poachers you’ll see if you visit.
If you’d like to turn this feature off on your phones, go to settings and make sure the location data is turned off in your camera settings. That way, when you do post images to social media sites, the geotagging information won’t be included. Who would’ve thought we’d ever have to worry about this?
[Images via animals.oreilly]