Creepy App Shows Why You Might Want to Scrub Location Data from Your Photos

creepy is a desktop application written by Yiannis Kakavas that demonstrates how the geotagging features found in newer cameras and phones can violate your privacy. Simply provide it with a Flickr username and it will map the places and times photos were taken conveniently on a map.

If you don’t want to allow people to track you in this way, you can turn off your geotagging features — which saves power too — or look into “scrubbing” the location data from your photos.

creepy (via Download Squad)

  • Daniel Austin Hoherd

    Isn’t it enough to just go to ?

  • Jack

    So I take a picture of a bridge and everyone will know I was near the bridge?

  • Michael Zhang

    I think it’s more like, take a picture of yourself in a bedroom mirror, and suddenly the world knows exactly where you live. :-)

  • Martin does a great job of the same thing, with way better maps than the built-in ones in Flickr. It’s also good for scouting a new location before you visit.

  • Jan

    Doesn’t everybody know that? I only use GPS data when I’m somewhere where I’m not familiar so I can find the names of the locations easily, usually on holiday. I really couldn’t care people know I’ve been at a certain location.
    And if people would want to know where I live they only have to check the whois from my website, or search the yellow pages.
    I wouldn’t get too paranoid. GPS data can be a great addition to photographs, both to find locations and to explore a location before you go there yourself.

  • Daniel M. Clark

    Why turn off geolocation? Here’s one scenario:

    You do a blog about bagels. All about your favorite place to get bagels. Every day, you go there and you take a picture of your bagel, and upload it to Flickr. You’re very careful not to list your real name on your websites (or maybe you have a common name), you don’t mention anywhere what city you live in, and you don’t mention what Starbucks location you’re at every single day at 2pm.

    Those photos you uploaded reveal all that about you, without you ever knowing it. Okay, not your name, but your location ;)

    Now, imagine you’re not talking about something innocuous like bagels, you’re talking about something that gets people riled up. The kind of thing that might make you some enemies. You’ve de-listed yourself from the phone book, you’re using a free blog from Blogger, which you didn’t use your real name to sign up with for. All of a sudden, forgetting to scrub location data becomes a bit more serious. If you live in New York with a few million other people, the likelihood that some of your enemies live there too is pretty good. For someone like that… it’s not paranoia.

    A *lot* of people post things online that they’d never say to a person to their face. A *lot* of people get pissed off enough to say “if that guy lived near me, I’d go kick the crap out of him”. Something to consider.