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Is your cat compromising your privacy?

The metadata of feline snaps has been used to create a world map of cats.

Image: cat via shutterstock

CAT PICTURES ARE pretty much the foundations upon which the rest of the internet is built. But could your feline companions be compromising your security?

A new website has been built by a professor in the University of Florida showing the locations of cats in the pictures they are featured in. Speaking about the site, Owen Mundy, founder of the website ‘I Know Where Your Cat Lives’, said:

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.

Using pictures uploaded to the internet through Flickr, Twitpic and Instagram, the site uses latitude and longitude settings that many smartphones and modern cameras attach to images to create the map.


Source: Owen Mundy/Vimeo

The cats on the website are shown on Google maps, without specific address information being displayed. The pictures on the site show cats from around the world that were all tagged with ‘cat’.

There are currently 15 million images with the tag ‘cat’ on public image hosting sites. For those concerned about their pet pictures appearing on the site, the website advises people about removing images from I Know Where Your Cat Lives:

The way you would go about doing so is by increasing the privacy settings of the photos of your furry feline friends. Then within 30 days your photos will be gone from our site.

Here are just a few Irish cats

cat 1 Source: I know where your cat lives

cat 2 Source: I know where your cat lives

cats 4 Source: I know where your cat lives

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