GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Tianna Walker's been uploading pictures to Twitter for nearly two years. All of her friends can instantly access every picture posted from her Android phone or from her home computer.
"If I see something crazy going on in the car next to me, I'll definitely take a picture of it so that my friends can have a laugh," she told 24 Hour News 8.
Kelli Meyers, aka MoonLoon78, doesn't want her friends and family to miss a second, so she uploads pictures of her child and other things from her Blackberry.
"It's just a lot of fun," she said.
Daniel Estrada is an electronic discovery consultant. His company, DC Estrada, legally pulls information from photos for a living, information the photographer may not even know is there.
"If you have sensitive things in the photo like your kids or your home or their school, that information is out there as soon as you send it," Estrada told 24 Hour News 8. "Smart phones today have a GPS capability, so they have a little GPS transmitter that can read the GPS coordinates from a satellite and put those coordinates into the picture you take or Tweets you send in your phone."
Facebook takes measures to protect your security, but if you don't want your location found through Twitter or craigslist, you can turn off the GPS on your smartphone or digital camera. It's as simple as going into the settings and sliding the GPS locator or "store location" to Off.
In a 24 Hour News 8 test, we took two pictures with an Android phone, one with the GPS locator on. In less than a minute, using a program he downloaded for free, Estrada determined the picture was taken at Sanchez restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids.
Then, with the "store location" turned off, Estrada could "see the make and the model of the phone but there isn't any GPS info in it."
Tianna Walker said her Android came with the GPS feature turned off, and she said she'll keep it that way.
The GPS feature is "a little bit creepy," she said. "You just upload a picture to share with your friends. You don't think about, somebody could see this and they'll know I'm here."
After a few days playing with her phone, Kelli Meyers noticed the setting and figure out how to turn her GPS tracking off. "Most of the time, I don't want people to know where I'm at."
"I think most users just take for granted that they're able to post things on the Internet and what you see is what you get," Estrada said. "But unfortunately with the Internet, what you see is most certainly not what you get."
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