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Your digital footprint is larger than you think


Narrator:       This is Science Today. You may want to think twice before posting updates and pictures of your day-to-day activities on Instagram, Twitter or other social media platforms. A team of University of California, Berkeley-affiliated computer scientists, including Gerald Friedland, have created an app called "Ready or Not," which demonstrates how anyone can track your movements through heat maps that are generated from metadata and geotags in each innocuous post.

Friedland:      We can find out people who are on vacation based on the geotags.  We found Craigslist ads that were completely anonymous except the photos had perfect geotags.  And they were selling high-valued goods like wedding rings and cars and so on.  We figured out that there is potentially a real issue and people don't know about that. So, we started to do a research project that was funded by NSF basically to figure out what are these privacy implications especially also if you go a little further than just geo tags. 

Narrator:       Friedland says the purpose of their app is not to instill fear, but rather to better educate people — especially high-schoolers about privacy. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.