WARNING: Your Hookup Selfie May Reveal Where You Live

By Nick Delmacy | Posted Jan 21 2014 | 14 Comments  

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Whether you’re young or old, most gay men nowadays have GPS location enabled smartphones that take the highest resolution bathroom and gym mirror photos with the press of a thumb.

In the past, the most a discreet gay guy had to worry about was making sure certain personal items were not accidentally photographed in the shot with him. Now these photos sent to potential one-night-stands and down low encounters come bundled not only with your image, but also metadata that includes a direct line of site to your bedroom.

What does all this mean?

In Layman’s Terms (aka “Real Nicca Speak”): Dudes can find out where you (or your parents) live with the information stored in your Hookup Photo.

Many gay men think they’re keeping their identities and privacy intact by only revealing their first name and a heavily cropped photo on hookup websites and apps. The truth of the matter is modern camera phones also store the GPS location information of where the photos were taken deep inside the digital information called “Metadata.”

What is Metadata?

Metadata has been around for quite some time. In addition to location data, information on how and what conditions the photos were taken is also stored. In theory, this is actually a pretty great feature. It allows you to recreate the look, location and conditions the photos were taken in many years after the fact if desired. Many modern photo applications allow you to see all of your photos on a digital map, pretty cool if you travel around the country or world a lot.

So those standard mirror photos like the ones featured below often has the GPS information stored and easily obtainable within them.

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I’ve tested this out on photos men have sent me in the past through text messages as well photos exchanged on some of the popular gay dating websites and mobile apps.

So how can you tell if this is the case with your old, shirtless photos from two years ago that you’re still using to get sex or a date (even though you’re not in the same good shape and look a lot older now)?

Digging Into The Metadata

Obviously, for this demonstration, I won’t use actual photos sent by the men who wanted me to put my Sword in their Stone. Instead I’ll dig into my photo gallery and grab a couple random shots I took last year in downtown Atlanta.

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Nothing special. For all those familiar with the city of Atlanta, you’ll recognize that these photos were taken right outside the infamous Metro Mall where “KickAss Mall Cop” Darien Long used to taser drug dealers and ghetto mothers before he was arrested and subsequently fired:

 Anyway, I load these photos up into my Apple Computer’s iPhoto application and here’s what I see:

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As you can see, the date, time, shutter speed, the ISO, the F-Stop and even the name of the phone I used to take the photo is stored in the image over six months later and easily accessible. See that little map in the bottom right corner of the page? That’s the software telling me exactly where the photo was taken.

Check this out. In another program called “Preview” I open the image and select the “Show Inspector” option which shows me this: 

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Can you believe this? Longitude and Latitude, Altitude, Image Direction and even if the image was taken Above Sea Level. Again, this would be pretty awesome if I were an explorer or a hiker or Indiana Fucking Jones…But most of us aren’t.

I click on the “LOCATE” button and Google Maps instantly pops up showing me a Bird’s Eye View of the place I took the photo.

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Now imagine this was the guy you just met online that you sent your photo to…looking up where you work out…where you live…Or where your parents live…He could use Google Street View to even see what kind of car was parked in your driveway.

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These photos can inadvertently reveal where you live.

So what does it matter, some may say. If you’re going to tell him where you live eventually anyway, what does it matter?

In this digital age where we all freely share details about our lives on Facebook and Twitter, privacy should still be a concern. There are some unstable people in the world.

Your first date with a guy shouldn’t be at your home, at least not until you’ve gotten to know enough about him to trust him and even then its a risky endeavor. Especially if you don’t live alone or you’re overly cautious about being outed by messy individuals, which can affect your career.

No matter the reason, you should be the one that decides when to reveal where you live or workout to a potential one-night-stand or date. This decision shouldn’t be made by your Hookup photo’s Metadata.

How To Remove The GPS Information in Your Photo

First, let’s look at the camera phone itself. Here’s how to stop the smartphone from storing this information the the first place. Like over 50 million other people in the world, I have an iPhone so I’ll use that for this walk through. Android and Windows Phone settings may be slightly different but the process should be easy to translate.

1. Open up your SETTINGS.

2. Tap on the PRIVACY option and navigate to the LOCATION SERVICES settings.

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3. Here you’ll see all of the applications on your phone that uses and stores your location information. Scroll down to the CAMERA option and turn this function OFF.

 

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From now on, the photos taken with your iPhone will not store GPS information unless you switch this tab back to green.

(Side Note: To be safe, I also disable Location Services for updates on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as well.)

Now let’s move to the photos you already have. Turns out there is no easy way to simply remove the data from the images without downloading and installing extra programs.

So we’ll get a little creative with some workarounds.

The old photos in your phone that already have the GPS data embedded into them, pull one of them up full screen. Now press & hold the Home button and the Power button quickly. The screen should flash white. Your phone has now taken a screenshot of itself and saved the new photo in your library.

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Remember we’ve already disabled the saving of GPS data, so the new photo will not have your address embedded into it and is now safe to send to the muscled, tatted-up former gay porn star that you met on Jack’d last night.

For non-iPhone users, or people who have their self pornography saved on their computers, try this simple method:

1. Open up the photo in a basic photo viewing/saving application.

2. Save the photo from a .JPG or .PNG file to a .GIF file instead. The .Gif format was originally created to be as small and stripped down as possible so it doesn’t save bloated information like Metadata.

As you can see from the Properties of the same images shown above, the new Gif version contains no GPS information.

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There are may ways to achieve the goals listed above, however these methods are a good start.

This process also serves to show you that no matter how private, discreet or down low gay men think they are, there’s always something to show that they’re not as undetectable as they think they are.

Happy hunting fellas, be safe!

- Nick D

   
Categorized as :
Dating & SexSlider

14 Comments Feel Free To Join The Cypher.

  1. Profile photo of bjincali .
    bjincali . | July 1st, 2014

    OMG. Scary. Tell everybody. I need to make sure my friends are safe. Just watch one episode of Catfish MTV and you’ll know people ain’t shit.

  2. Rod | January 26th, 2014

    Eh… It’s so much easier just to Skype somebody. That’s what I do in order to circumvent all that hassle you guys just described above. I’m all down for the occasional hook up but if we can’t video chat to confirm that our bodies and faces align with our pics, then there’s no point of me being potentially catfish.

  3. SB3000 | January 25th, 2014

    This shit is kinda scray..reason #65465739 i dont fuck w the apps

  4. Rox808 | January 22nd, 2014

    just turned off the settings. find me now! haha kidding.

  5. quest for knowledge | January 22nd, 2014

    I’m so glad I’m aware of this now. When I used to use dating apps there were some pics that I posted and I had no idea about this. With this type of information your privacy is essentially gone. This just goes to show you that sometimes technology can be both good and bad. Thanks for the info nick.

  6. jamaicanbiglove | January 22nd, 2014

    thank you for bring ppl to the light. I have been aware of this and i am someone who does not like the over intrusion of technology or spy agency ( the NSA scandal should show you non-believers that the US government has been keeping track of ppl around the world and storing data). As much as possible i turn off gps / location stuff on my phone. The next step is to do a complete whip and put on my own OS. For those of you who are not aware there is software on your phone which allows the cellphone company to remotely activate the speaker and cameras on your phone so as to carry out surveillance on the user.

  7. Dre G | January 22nd, 2014
    +1

    Im not conspiracy theorist, but Whn i think this over i wonder if technology is designed to do this? Google is already obsessed with our locations,but I wouldnt be surprised if social media is and our phones are doing these things intentionally.

  8. Dre G | January 22nd, 2014
    +2

    Smart phones aint nothin but the Debbil

  9. D.W. | January 21st, 2014
    +1

    I think these are great tips for people, but as a ex=professional stalker, I still know other ways to track a person down lol
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  10. African King | January 21st, 2014

    Very good article. I remember when Ocky posted something on the Activity Stream about this. I make sure to turn off the GPS location thing on my Android phone and if I have ever shown anyone a photo of me, it is a photo taken on a regular digital camera that does not have GPS enabled. So I would say I’m pretty safe.

    But yeah people gotta know what they are getting themselves into! I took my time VERY SLOWLY but at least I know I am safe.

    As @nick says, HAPPY HUNTING fellas lol!

  11. over it | January 21st, 2014
    +1

    See, now this is why I am a member of Cypher Avenue

  12. TheDarkness | January 21st, 2014

    Wow, Bruh! This is really practical info that I can use! Thank you for that!!!

  13. Ocky Williams | January 21st, 2014
    +2

    Knowledge is power and this is one to grow on. FYI, the FBI suggests that there can be between 50-300 serial killers operating at any given time. I’m sure their victims never thought they would be victims. This information goes far beyond dating apps. How about your employer getting photo information and finding out were you really at home sick or out of town. What about the pics taken of your kids that can reveal the locations of parks and playgrounds they frequent and schools they attend?

    Shit is real and we must be cautious.

    moreyouknow.jpg

  14. LEE B | January 21st, 2014
    +1

    Dude you must be in my head??!!! I just told a former friend about this. He called me distraught about how his crazy stalker ex knows his every move. He hasn’t dated or communicated with the guy in over 3years and they now live in different states. His ex knew exactly where he lived, and where he frequent. I explained to him, not as detailed as you did, but in a nutshell, that his pics from his social media profiles where how the dude found out these things. I turned my GPS off my cam a long time ago.

    Good article man!!




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