Negative aspect of geo-tagging?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by will_daniel|1, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. I didn't come up with anything about this on or a Google search. I envision a horrific side effect of geo-
    tagging photos. Suppose you post on the web a geo-tagged photo of a beautiful young child for whom you would do
    anything in the world to protect. Predators with only the slightest bit of technical knowledge can download the photo,
    decypher the geo-tag, and then simply drive to that spot and wait for the child to appear. OK, it might be a long wait,
    but if he does it day after day after day... you get the idea.

    Has anybody else thought of this?

  2. I tend to try to keep my mind thinking on the lighter side of things. If that was ever a worry I imagine that removing the geo tag would be pretty easy, just like removing the exif data is.
  3. Will.....have you considered some professional help? I have never seen a more paranoid post.......shakes head.....Bob
  4. Predators are predators. Might one one use geotagging? Sure but there have been predators before anything
    technical came along to assist them. That's too big a stretch to be to be given much time or thought. That's
    like suggesting there's link between puppies and cars and predators because some predator might use a puppy to
    tempt a child to a car. What are we going to do to deal with the widespread availability of cars and puppies?
  5. If it can happen it likely *will* happen, disturbing.
  6. I, on the other hand, do not think that it is quite the same as puppies. I think it is more like - here is a picture of a good
    looking kid with a sign that says, "This is where you can find me if you want to." It is sort of like coeds passing out business
    cards at bars. Remember - "boys will be boys" and "predators will be predators". Don't we tell young girls "and not so young
    girls" not to give out personal information on the Internet?

  7. Maybe I should have expanded my original post somewhat in order to avoid being called paranoid and having self-indulgent types telling me I need professional help. I'll expand by describing this scenario:

    1. Sometime in the near future all digital point & shoot cameras come with geo-tagging.
    2. Default setting from the factory is geo-tag on for each photo.
    3. Folks who don't have a fraction of the photo or computer knowledge that folks in this forum have shoot blissfully away and everything is fine.
    4. Yes, removing the geo-tag would be easy if you have brains. Not so sure a large percentage of the P&S buying public have the ability or interest in learning much of the techno stuff we know.

    Now you can go back to my original post and see where this fits in. It looks to me as if No. 2 holds the key -- make the default setting no geo-tag and let the consumer figure out how to use it.

  8. A valid pandora's box. ....something new for the 3 3'rs maybe?
  9. My guess is that when GPS chips are in basic P&S cameras and Flickr starts integrating all pictures with their map feature, one of the local news stations will do a sensational feature (Are Your Children Safe?! Find out at 11!), but it won't change the fact that it's infinitely easier for a predator to hang out by the playground than to websurf for the "perfect kid" and hang out at the appropriate longitude and latitude, waiting for the kid to show up.
  10. On the Nikon P6000, you have to set the gps or it is off by default. Most of the P&S crowd (not PN regulars) won't ever notice it to set it.

  11. Obviously it's a predator trap. You take a pic, then have the police hang out at the coordinates and wait. I guess Chris Hansen will be there too.

    I really don't see how it's potentially more harmful that having the address of a school listed in the phone book.
  12. Haha right on Bob!

    Try and look at the positive side. Think at all the child porn enthusiast who will be caught when they stupid leave the geo tags on, post pictures up on the internet, and have a big map with an arrow pointing to their basement!
  13. Good God, I thought that I have a horrible imagination, but I never could have imagined this particular scenario.

    Normally, I would make an expansion on my initial commentary, but I cannot do that at this point in time.
  14. Well, this has certainly been an interesting discussion. Some have made a big joke about it, one person has attacked me as being paranoid and needing counseling, and some have agreed it's worth discussion. That's quite a mix.

    When I first heard about geo-tagging I was enthusiastic about all the possiblitites for photograpers, editors, etc. I believe everyone in the photo commmunity, in their zeal for this new idea, has overlooked this negative aspect, and now I know what it feels like to be the first to bring it up for discussion.

    I'm the one in my family who admonishes the others to stop over-protecting the kids -- let them ride two blocks on their bicycles, for crying out loud. So, I'm not talking about sheltering kids here, for sure. I'm talking about industry awareness that perhaps this new technology is but one more easy tool for predators. That's all. Thanks for the discussion.

  15. The problem is not whether geotagging makes it easier to search for the perfect kid to pounce upon, the problem is the fact that there are predators out there that search out children.

    Will they use geotagging to target children. Maybe/ probably. Will they let the unavailibilty of geotagged photos stop them. No, most definitily not. It hasn't stopped so far. Predators are out there, and alas will always be out there. Geotagging photos will not increase the amount of pervs out there.

    Raise the awareness in your child, stop fretting about scenarios like this.
  16. dkm


    Will, I honestly see no good practical use for geo-tagging, so I like your idea. Turn it off by default, and let people who want it turn it on.
  17. Well, I hadn’t felt the need to suggest that you seek help, but the sentiments leaning towards the negative or neutral side of your caveat on geo-tagging would suggest that people have just about had a belly-full of these “sky-is-falling” dire predictions; the main impetus seeming to be the government with their relentless “threat level” warnings ever since 9-11.

    What you did was reach into the basket and pull out geo-tagging and thought about a sinister aspect of its use. I could walk into a kids clothing store and warn people not to buy a t-shirt for a child with that children’s name on it for similar reasons. I could go into a panic every time my granddaughter came down the stairs for fear that she will fall and break her neck.

    The fact is if we all subscribed to the “glass is half empty” philosophy in this regard, we could fill volumes with paranoia filled rhetoric that would keep us locked in, shuttered and bolted for good. And that’s my two cents worth. I have my camera bag and tripod loaded up and I’m off into the concrete jungle. But this time in keeping with the spirit of the post, I’m leaving my flak jacket at home!

  18. "The fact is if we all subscribed to the “glass is half empty” philosophy in this regard, we could fill volumes with paranoia filled rhetoric..."
    My volume of paranoia filled rhetoric is half full. I guess I need another half glass of mind-numbing fear.

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