While admiring photos of fierce sex worker babes in our Twitter feed I did a little risk assessment. Saving 10 photos linked through social media by sex workers on their personal websites at random I found through a few simple clicks that 80% of sex workers incidentally share tiny bits of private information about themselves to their thousands of public followers in metadata.
Hidden in digital photos and video of birthday wish list thank you shout outs, incall selfies, relaxed bathtub soaks, hotel parties, and vacation views by porn performers, escorts, dominatrixs, and strippers lay your exact coordinates of where the photo was taken (this is called geotagging.) For people vulnerable to police harassment, vindictive ex-partners, stalkers, political doxxers and other abusers, preventing this private information from going public is paramount to safety
In an effort to reduce sex worker’s risk of abuse by predatory groups and individuals, I put together a quick guide on how to turn off geotagging on smart phones and a list of apps that allow you to remove geotagged info from existing photos and video.
How to Disable Geotagging on iPhone:
1. Go to settings.
2. Go to privacy.
3. Go to location services.
4. Go to camera. (The same should be done for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and all other vulnerable apps.)
5. Click “Never.”
Some free iPhone apps that remove metadata:
How to Disable Geotagging on Android:
1. Go to settings.
2. Go to location.
3. Tap on the green button in the right hand corner to turn off tracking for all apps.
Some free Android apps that remove metadata:
-Photo Exif Editor
To remove geotagged info on Mac computer:
1. Open your photo in Preview.
2. Go to tools.
3. Click (i) icon.
4. Click the GPS tab.
5. Click “Remove Location Info.”
To remove geotagged info on Windows computer:
1. Right click photo file.
2. Click properties.
3. Click details.
4. Click “Remove Properties and Personal Information.”
Note: This is not an exhaustive list of all the ways geographic data is collected and shared. Check online for guides for your specific devices to ensure security.