Whenever you take a picture with your iPhone, there is strong chance that you are also recording the location of where you snapped the photo. You won't see the location information, also known as a Geotag, in the picture itself, but it is nonetheless embedded in the metadata of the image file.
Other applications can read the location information contained within the metadata and can pinpoint exactly where you took the photo.
Why Are my Geotags a Potential Security Risk?
If you take a picture of an item that you want to sell online and the geotag information that is embedded in the photo gets posted on the the site you're selling the item on, you may have inadvertently provided potential thieves with the exact location of the item you are selling.
If you're on vacation and post a picture that is geotagged, you may be confirming the fact that you are not home. Again, this has the potential to help provide criminals with knowledge of your whereabouts, which could aid them in a robbery, or worse.
Below are some steps you can take to prevent your location from being added to your pictures and help you remove Geotags from photos you've already taken with your iPhone.
How to Prevent Geotags from Being Saved When You Take a Picture With Your iPhone
In order to ensure that Geotag information is not captured when you snap future pictures you need to preform the following steps:
1. Tap the "Settings" icon from your iPhone's home screen.
2. Tap the "Privacy"" menu.
3. Choose "Location Services" from the top of the screen.
4. Look for the "Camera" setting and change it from the "ON" position to the "OFF" position. This should prevent geotag data from being recorded in future pictures taken with your iPhone's built in Camera app. If you have other camera apps such as Facebook Camera or Instagram, you may want to disable location services for them as well.
5. Tap the "Home" button to close the settings app.
As mentioned earlier, unless you had previously disabled your iPhone's location services for the camera app as shown above, chances are, photos you've already taken with your iPhone likely have Geotag information embedded in the EXIF metadata that was saved with the photos and is contained within the image files themselves.
You can strip the geotag information from photos that were already on your phone by using an app such as deGeo (available from the iTunes App Store). Photo privacy apps such as deGeo, allow you to remove the location information contained in your photos. Some apps may allow for batch processing so that you can remove Geotag info from more than one photo at a time.
How Can You Tell if a Photo has Geotag Location Data embedded in it?
If you want to check to see if a photo has geotag information in it's meta data that might reveal the location that it was taken from you need to download an EXIF viewer application such as Koredoko EXIF and GPS Viewer. There are also browser extensions available for your PC's web browser such as FireFox that will allow you to simply right-click on any image file on a website and find out if it contains location information.
For more information about Geotags and their associated privacy issues, check out the following articles on our site: