My husband's friend forwarded him this news segment today. It's about how creeps can track down your child's location via embedded info in photos taken with smartphones, pics that get emailed or uploaded to the Web.
The report seems somewhat sensationalized. A few months ago, I interviewed the national safety director of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Nancy McBride, for an article I was working on about toddlers and stranger danger. At the end of the conversation I mentioned I had a blog, and expressed concerns I've had about exposing the kids. Yes, I thought that over long and hard when I started writing here, and discussed it many times with Dave. But in the end we decided to go public for the greater good, inspiring other families.
McBride informed me that the vast majority of kidnapping cases involve family members. Additionally, I've read that most cases of molestation also involve family members, or people living in your 'hood—as in, people who already know your child. Not sickos who swoop in from out of nowhere.
I'm not trying to make light of the issue; too many kids get molested. Now that I've got creeps on the brain, I took a look at the number of registered offenders who live in our area, and the map on Family Watchdog showed 301 offenders. Not one was in our city per se, but still.
This is a new electronic world we live in. And I'm no tech expert, but it seems like a fine idea to change the geographical settings on your phone (aka geotagging) to private. I did.