5 Responses to “Your metadata can show snoops a whole lot. Just look at mine”

  1. Does anyone know whether digital photos taken with a smartphone have any metadata information in them that follows the photos when they are emailed or texted? Meaning, if I received an emailed copy of a photo taken with a smartphone, is there discoverable metadata that would show any previous distribution of the photos?

    Oklahoma lawyer

  2. I’m not too worried about the information the government can get from me. I know here in South Africa the tax authorities even have access to bank accounts and foreign exchange and the like. Sometimes I think it is the only part of goverment that functions efficiently!

    Also, that companies like Google and Facebook and the likes have the data is not a major concern. They operate on a higher level of meta-data and use it to push adds that might interest me. At least I don’t get a lot of junk adds but stuff I might be interested in.

    The worry is the cyber criminals and people with malicious intent that can generate this kind of information on us. Identity theft and the like I think will become a much bigger issue going forward. This whole PRISM thing is moving our focus away from where it should be, governments and add agencies will always have access to this information. Even the EU that is making a lot of noise have access to this. We should focus more on cyber crime and the like which poses real security threats to individuals.

  3. Stefan

    Hi Derrick,

    just a short question – in section “Calls and texts are low-hanging fruit” in the first graph “Calls by day” – are these real telephone numbers (you see them in clear-text when the image enlarges)? In Case, you might want to crop this section of the related image 8-)

    Best regards for Germany,


  4. How about all the ‘metadata’ available through GM’s OnStar (and similar services)?

    Even if you don’t keep paying for this info, do you think the manufacturer really stops collecting the data? It’s way too valuable for design and marketing purposes, and financial modeling for such things as warranties, roadside assistance packages, etc.

    • Derrick Harris

      No, I don’t think they stop collecting it. My thoughts here are the same: I don’t mind and I don’t think anybody is doing anything nefarious with it, but there’s a lot of info there is someone wanted to.