Modern Cellphones Share your Location Information

The Internet Storm Center has published the results of an exploratory research experiment into whether photos uploaded onto the Internet can give away sensitive information about your whereabouts. Based on the premise that most photo-sharing sites don't strip out EXIF metadata from uploaded JPEG files, the team found that a large number of photos had names, camera/phone models and even GPS coordinates still embedded in them.

Out of 15,291 photos collected on the Twitter companion site (which does not allow users to protect access to uploaded photos), around 10,000 contained basic information about the camera used, while 399 of these included GPS coordinates and 102 even had the camera owner's name intact! The vast majority of GPS-tagged images came from iPhones, which are widely used in conjunction with Twitter. In Many of the iPhone images even included accelerometer and digital compass readouts.

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