Tom Insam

Geolocated photos as a privacy risk

The new iPhone firmware geolocates all the photos you take. It asks your permission first, but not in a very good way - it'll say something like 'This app would like access to your location'. Say yes, and you're putting your exact position into every photo you take. Put an incidental photo on flickr and everyone knows where you were and when (because there's a timestamp in the upload as well). Sell something on eBay, using a photo you took in your house, and now everyone knows where you live.

Is this not a little creepy?

(True, Flickr don't import geotagging information by default. But I can still get the EXIF tags from the original image if you allow me access to that)

Oh, also, an argument from the exact opposite direction. The camera app gives no indication of if it knows where you are, and how close, so if you want a geolocated photo, you never know if you've got a fix yet and it's safe to take one. The camera roll doesn't indicate which photos are geotagged. You can't look at a photo on the iPhone (or in iPhoto for that matter) and see where you were when you took it. So to a normal user, the feature is totally unexposed, and to a power user, it's totally unusable.

This geotagging feature is completely half-arsed.