Your Online Cat Photos Tell Others Where You Are

“I Know Where Your Cat Lives”. Therefore I know where you live. That’s the message. How does this person know where your cat lives? Answer: modern cameras and smartphone cameras include GPS technology (Global Positioning System) so that when you take a photo of your cat the camera records “metadata” (hidden information about the photograph which includes location, the shutter speed, F stop and whether you used flash or not etc.).

Locating your cat and you using image metadata information

When you upload the photos to a photo-hosting site the metadata goes with it. Then Owen Mundy, an assistant professor of art at Florida State University, extracted the data and built a website around it! Most of the cat positions come from the United States, Russia, Britain and Brazil.

Here is the trick…you can strip metadata from a image using Yahoo Smush.it™ 😉 So, if you want to guard your privacy use Smush.it™ because you’ll never know who is watching you – it is the big brother world.

Mr Mundy’s site has I believe one million photo locations on it. He estimates 15m photos tagged with “cat” online. He is underestimating in my opinion. It is much more than that.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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Michael Broad

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