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Author Topic: Warning to missionaries: your camera may betray you  (Read 1226 times)

Jonathan Johnson

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Warning to missionaries: your camera may betray you
« on: June 23, 2014, 02:20:52 am »

Just a warning for anyone going on mission trips to areas that persecute people of different faiths:

Most smartphones, tablets, and many cameras now include geolocation (GPS) features. When you take a picture, the location is encoded in the metadata of the photo.

If you post a picture with this information online, someone hostile to your faith could find it and use the information to locate the people you are serving and persecute them.

My recommendation? When traveling as a missionary in sensitive areas, disable geolocation (sometimes just called 'location') features or ensure that the location metadata is scrubbed before sharing photos. (This also goes for sharing photos with someone else who might put them online.) Disabling the geolocation features also prevents authorities from getting the information should your camera device be confiscated.
Stop confusing the issue with facts and logic!

Tommy Peel

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Re: Warning to missionaries: your camera may betray you
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 12:13:32 pm »

Excellent information Jonathan. On most Android devices turning off location services is done in settings -> Location. There is a toggle at the top of the screen to turn it off. Your phone will probably complain that location services are offered and some things won't work, but you can ignore that.

I know iPhones are similar but I don't remember the exact menu items for it.

Another thing is that many laptops have location options too that you might need to turn off. On Macs it's in Settings -> Security & Privacy -> Location Services

Safe travels everyone!

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Glen Kelley

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Re: Warning to missionaries: your camera may betray you
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 03:56:45 pm »

Additionally, in our organization, we received this notice:

"Under export control regulations, any individual transporting a laptop or other storage device with encrypted data must seek an export license (may take up to 90-days to process).  Not seeking the appropriate export license may potentially subject the traveler to having the device(s) confiscated as a minimum, and possibly being charged/incarcerated.  Because some encrypted data or technology is by nature sensitive information or contains controlled technology, licensing may be required under Export Administration Regulations (EAR) or International Traffic in Arms Regulations 2009 (ITAR) in order to be able to “export or re-import” an encrypted device outside or back into The United States. "

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