Or any other time of day or night for that matter. For those that don’t know, our headline was something repeated every night in New York City, before the 10 O’Clock News. Except they asked “Do you know where your children are?”  Anyone who reads a newspaper or owns a television knows that there is a heightened awareness of child abductions. They occur regularly and arguing whether the number of such incidents is on the increase is pointless. What is beyond argument is the fact that locating a child (or adult) has, thanks to (at least) cell phones, become very easy.

Photographers whose images frequently contain children (particularly those who do weddings, portraits, Little League games, etc.) need to know that they must disable the GPS settings and Geo tagging on pictures that are shot on any smart phone and which are to be posted or transmitted (especially those which might appear on a social media site).

The failure to do so may lead to some serious consequences for which a photographer could conceivably be held responsible (to varying degrees) in a court of law.

Let’s assume that a child appearing in a photo posted on a social site like Foursquare, is tracked thanks to an image taken and posted by you. The child then becomes the victim of a crime or parental abduction. It is more than conceivable that a lawsuit could be brought against the photographer who by failing to disable the GPS caused, permitted or accelerated the abduction and/or crime.

This is similar to the reason why we encourage all photographers to get property releases especially when shooting in private homes. There have been instances where a photographer unintentionally or negligently: photographed a code for the alarm system, a secret entry, a particular form of lock, a back door entrance which was not alarmed as all the other doors were, etc.  As a result of some of these photos being published, burglars got the inside track on gaining undetected entry and exit to residences where they committed crimes against property and/or persons .

Pedophiles,kidnappers and especially non-custodial parents, no longer need to cruise around the neighborhood in non-nondescript vans stalking their victims. Rather, today they need only employ some rather cheap software to track a child whose photo has been sent by its creator to a third person.

You can easily help prevent that from happening.

We urge each of you to view this 4 minute piece which appeared on the NBC affiliate in Kansas City, MO. Note the surprise on the face of the KC Police expert on such things, when the reporter demonstrates how to track a child’s movements and locations via a single photo with ease by using cheap browser add-ons.


The report advises the public on how to disable the function.  This is knowledge known to some photographers and “civilians” but we have learned that despite having that knowledge, many have failed to disable this potentially dangerous function.  Again, such failure could result in a photographer becoming involved in a lawsuit or worse. The ounce of prevention here is just at your fingertips.