“I Know Where Your Cat Lives” Raises Privacy Issues

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A Website that lets you look at and locate “public” cats living all over the world is getting a lot of attention. It’s called I Know Where Your Cat Lives. And it’s all about geotagging.

The Website was created by a Florida State University art professor who wants to raise awareness about geotagging.(For more information about geotagging, how it works and how to disable it, check out this article on YourSphere.) Professor Owen Mundy got the idea for the project several years ago when he learned that photographs of his daughter posted on social media included hidden, retrievable information about where the pics were taken, according to an article in the The Independent.

“Geographic data is sensitive,” he said. “A picture can only say so much. But if someone wants to do you harm or stalk you…anyone can track where you are.” The site includes one million public photographs of cats.  Users can choose to look at a “random cat” and be presented with a photo that locates the photo subject on a satellite map, like this cat who apparently lives in London, for instance.

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Or this cat who lives in Mexico City. Apparently, the Website is meant to be both educational and creepy.

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The site allows owners of felines in the photos to remove images and information being displayed, and quite a few have already done so, judging by the blank “photo removed by at owner’s request” images. Here’s what you will see on Professor Owen’s “About” section: “This project explores two uses of the internet: the sociable and humorous appreciation of domesticated felines, and the status quo of personal data usage by startups and international megacorps who are riding the wave of decreased privacy for all.”










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