Photos of Children and Privacy Risks

This is a blog for all parents who take photos of their children with their smart phones. I'm not an expert, but when I saw a YouTube clip on Geotagging, I thought it was something we had to share with our Tinies following. I don't believe in scaremongering, but if what they say is true, you should know about it



Posting photos of your children

A few months ago I read an article in one of the newspapers about a serious privacy issue surrounding photos of children. I have to admit that I sort of dismissed it, mainly because I am totally rubbish when it comes to things like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (actually I don't even know what this last thing is - I just put it in there to look clever).

I never post photos anywhere, unless it's in a letter to my Dad to stick on his fridge. I can just about use the camera on my phone, but I wouldn't have a clue how to send that photo electronically to anyone or any site.

I only found out from my 11 year old niece that it takes panoramic photos - that was why her picture of the replica Hogwarts at Warner Studios was 100 times better than mine.

My "love" of Facebook!

It will pain my Social Media Manager to say it, but I am not a big fan of Social Media. Anyone who has tried to link with me on LinkedIn will know it takes a wee bit of time to get through to me (weeks normally) because I'm not on it the whole time.

I have a Facebook account, but I only set it up because a friend said I could view some photos from a party on there. Now I don't know how to delete the account, and I keep requests from people I don't know or from people I used to know, but don't want to know now.

I hesitate to use the word stalkers, but you know who you are...

Geotagging on photos of your children - the dangers

Anyway, I digress. According to sources in America, if you have Geotagging turned on on your smart phone and you take a photo of your child at home, or in the play park, or at their playgroup etc, and then you upload it to a site like Facebook, people can actually get the exact location of where that photo was taken.

When Geotagging is turned on it embeds a code into the image that, using the right software, can be extracted to determine your location. That means anyone could find your address, the address of your kids' schools/nurseries, where they go and play etc.

If that's true, then that is seriously scary.

There's a very good clip on YouTube that talks about this issue and shows you how you can change your settings on your phone to stop the geographical data trail being linked to photos on your smart phone.

Stay safe when photographing your kids

So make sure you protect yourself and your children by changing your settings. Otherwise do as I do, and pretend Social Media doesn't really exist, and there is no such thing as Facebook.

Wouldn't the world be a much better (and safer) place?

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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