Can Facebook & WhatsApp images really track Tigers location?
The recent guidelines from NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority) of India not to post Tiger pics in social media especially on Facebook and WhatsApp as they reveal location to Poachers (Tiger pics on social sites with place info spur wildlife crimes’) got me thinking and I was pretty sure that location info (what we call geotagging in technical world which is part of EXIF data what camera pros call it) is usually stripped.
Anyways I did a small experiment. I took the pics on both my Android and iOS devices and then sent it via WhatsApp and Facebook and save them on my computer and ran this tool which tells where the picture was taken if the data had location information.
I also took my tigers pics that I took in Tiger Reserves and sent them via Facebook and WhatsApp, downloaded the same and checked for location info – Sorry NTCA, couldn’t find any.
Below is the website that you can use to find on your own:
THERE WAS NO LOCATION INFORMATION ATALL
You can test yourself too and very easily to see truth in NTCA claims.
Lets test now with a Pic directly taken via Phone BUT NOT GOT IT VIA SOCIAL MEDIA:
below is the Pic analysis for a picture I took myself in Kanha and directly analyzed [BUT NOT RECEIVED VIA WHATSAPP OR FACEBOOK OR ANY SOCIAL MEDIA]
Pics shared via Facebook and WhatsApp have no location information as that data (geotagging or EXIF data) is stripped by these social media before they are posted.
Hence tiger locations via images received by WhatsApp and FaceBook will not reveal locations to anyone let alone poachers.
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