The next time you go to post your photos of your grow op on Instagram or Facebook, take a moment and consider the information attached to that photo. If you took the photo of your plants with a smartphone, chances are there's all sorts of GPS data embedded in the photo you may not know about.
Does that mean the feds are going to come kick your door down because of what you're growing? Maybe not, but the point is they could if they wanted to.
There's location information you, the user can choose to add to each photo if you like. But there's the location information you don't even know about that you may not be able to turn off. Even if location options are turned of in your phone's settings, the camera will automatically embed the location info into the photo.
There's an additional risk to be aware of in Facebook Messenger's default setting. It shows precisely where you are when you send a message. One of Facebook's intern's Aran Khanna uncovered the fact he had been sending his exact location to his friends every time he messaged them.
If GPS is turned on, Messenger records your location within one arm's reach from where you are. Khanna points out:
I found that I could even do this for people who I am not Facebook friends with. I am currently in a large active chat to organize poker games with some fellow students, many of whom I am not Facebook friends with. However, I can still track their locations extremely accurately from the messages they send the group.
Intern Khanna developed a piece of his own code to build a map of recent locations he had been to. He was able to figure out where his friends lived, where they worked and where they went in their free time.
How do you turn it off? On iPhone go to Setting -> Location Services -> "Turn location off for Facebook Messenger". To turn off the feature on Android follow the same steps. If your GPS arrow on your Facebook Messenger box is bright Facebook blue that means your location is still on.
If the idea of GPS data in your photos isn't a concern, by all means instagram that shit. But if you really want to show off those beautiful girls in their flowering stage, maybe go old school with a pre-GPS digital camera.
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