You might consider it a good idea to hide the location of your cat photos for the safety of your cat, kids and even yourself. It depends on your attitude towards these things and whether you are fearful of someone or protective of your privacy. Personal security may be important to you. Cat haters like to hurt cats. They can locate your cat using a website. The tragic Sage the cat torture case reminds me of geotagged cat photos because there is a geographical cluster of three cats injured in a similar manner
Your camera might have GPS (Global Positioning System) which by default geotags your photos. The information is recorded in image metadata.
Your cat makes a nice subject for a photo near or at your home. The camera records lots of data about the photo in metadata. Part of this information is where the photo was taken. The positioning can be accurate to around 25 feet. Of course, the same applies to photos of your child and anyone else in the family.
The metadata is being used by a website – iknowwhereyourcatlives.com – to present to the world where the photo was taken using Google maps. If the site knows where your cat photos were taken it is also likely to know where you live if the photo was taken inside your home or in the backyard.
That explains the dangers in terms of privacy of snaps of your cats or kids. Malicious individuals can track you down. If this concerns you, what can you do about it? There are a range of steps to take. I’ll let you fiddle with the settings because they vary from phone to phone and between different operating systems. However, if you are really concerned please leave a comment and ask. I am likely to respond with full details.
In general terms this is what you can do to hide the location of your cat photos
Turn off the location services using camera settings. There is likely to be a settings ‘cog’ at the top right hand corner of the photo software window. Click on that and go from there. This setting prevents the camera geotagging the photo’s location. Job done. An alternative is to download an app to your photo which will strip metadata from the images. You can also try using a VPN to hide your location while browsing online
For photos already taken you can remove the location from the metadata using Windows or Apple operating systems. For windows right click on the photo and go to properties. I’ll let you fiddle around from there. It will be a similar process for Apple computers.
I was prompted to write this article by an email I received from Marin Scanlon who pointed me to an article on ExpressVPN. It is about privacy. A subject which is a hot topic nowadays in the world of social media and Google who have become modern day ‘Big Brothers’, the all-seeing controller of society in Orwell’s novel 1984.
A lot of people are unaware of how they are being manipulated by businesses such as Facebook and Google. Increasingly there are calls for government regulation of these mega-companies which control and exploit the wild west of the Internet.