New App Puts Instagram Photos On Google Street View Map - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

New App Puts Instagram Photos On Google Street View Map

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A popular social networking site could be a gold mine for stalkers, mapping out your home address, your favorite bars, your every move for everybody to see.

Are you aware of how much information you release online simply by uploading a photo?

As FOX 29's Meg Baker found out, a picture can be worth way more than a thousand words.

A new web app called "The Beat" by the Social Media Lab at Rutgers University highlights the fact that people may unknowingly share too much.

The app, created by Rutgers students, uses Google Street View to show exactly where your Instagram photos were taken.

"To you, as the end user, that should raise big privacy concerns," said Dr. D'Ovidio, a Drexel University sociology professor.

A website for The Beat states all images used are entirely public, uploaded up by Instagram users onto their map and tagged with their location. The Beat then combines these photos with the corresponding Google Street View location to show where the photo was taken.

"Not all users are aware that these types of data exist with the pictures that they're uploading to the services," D'Ovidio said.

Most social media sites do ask the users to share the information publicly.

"The important point here is users need to know that they have that option," D'Ovidio said.

Still, many users we spoke to are concerned.

"As a mother absolutely," one woman said. "I don't want – they do this all the time Instragramming and all this stuff, and I don't – certainly don't want anybody knowing where they live."

"You take a picture, and he's obviously in his house with his own privacy," another woman said. "And if it's showing his house it's kind of, you know, anybody can go to your house. And it's – that kind of scary."

D'Ovidio said, "That's the big scary one when it comes to stalking. You know, people aren't familiar with the fact that the camera knows and the service provider now knows where I was when that picture was taken."

Some services automatically strip your photos of data. But just to be sure, check your security settings within the app

The mother we spoke to earlier said, "Well, we're going to go home and do that, whether they like it or not."

This prompt may prompt you to go home and check your security settings.

It is actually pretty easy to turn your location services off so you cannot be tracked. We've got directions for you to do so right here.

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