Who's Checking Out Your Check-Ins?
Photo Lucyrk in LA by via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
You may already think twice about checking-in to a venue on Foursquare if you don't want people to know where you are, but do you exercise the same caution when you take a photo with your iPhone and share it on Twitter? The LA County DA's office is warning Angelenos to think carefully before enabling geotagging features on your cell phone, according to NBC Los Angeles.While it's great to have GPS-enabled phones to get directions to a venue or to find an alternative route to an event once SigAlert has shown you the latest in L.A. traffic snafus, geotagging can be dangerous. That fun feature that allows Twitter to show where you're tweeting from and tags photos to let others know where and when it was taken can be cool but also cruel.
Information Security specialist Ben Jackson wants to remind people that "When you start to look at someone's geotags over a period of time ... you can start to tell where people live and where they work."
Jonathan Fairtlough, a founding member of the LA County District Attorney's high-tech crime division, weighs the good and bad:
"Having GPS on your cell phone is an amazing feature. ...It allows you to reach law enforcement if you are at risk," Fairtlough said. "If you are taking a photograph that could identify your home or you, then you need to think about how you're going to post that and how you're going to use it." Fairtlough says the DA's office is not aware of any crimes it has prosecuted stemming from geotagging -- but he admits, "it is only a matter of time."