Google Maps Location? RUNUTS?

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RuNuts
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Google Maps Location? RUNUTS?

Why in the world would we enable users to expose their locations on a PM forum is beyond me.

We now have users outing GPS coordinates (& Google Earth pics of the home) harvested from PM pictures.

This needs to be reconsidered.

SilverTree
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ok-ok

Calm down, it's gonna be ok.yes

uptofreedom
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...

RuNuts wrote:

Why in the world would we enable users to expose their locations on a PM forum is beyond me.

We now have users outing GPS coordinates (& Google Earth pics of the home) harvested from PM pictures.

This needs to be reconsidered.

Be happy is was SB who pointed that out and not some jerkoff breaking into your home and demanding to see your stash.  SB didn't put the GPS info on the 'net, the photo sharer did.  It's out there regardless of what you think SB did.

admin
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We've unpublished the Post

We've unpublished the Post Pictures of Your Silver thread until we've had a chance to discuss the matter with Turd.

As for the location option on a user account, we've said many times that (a) it is optional and (b) users have the option of entering city/state/country, state/country, or just country.  There is no further information that would identify where someone resides.

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admin
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Also one other point... the

Also one other point... the pictures in question are hosted on third-party sites such as photobucket.  The images are already freely available on the Internet.  The user is just linking from their third-party account to display the image on TF Metals Report.

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RuNuts
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3rd Party Hosting

admin wrote:

Also one other point... the pictures in question are hosted on third-party sites such as photobucket.  The images are already freely available on the Internet.  The user is just linking from their third-party account to display the image on TF Metals Report.

/Face Plant

RuNuts
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Optional

admin wrote:

As for the location option on a user account, we've said many times that (a) it is optional and (b) users have the option of entering city/state/country, state/country, or just country.  There is no further information that would identify where someone resides.

Understood, is there a disclaimer or advisory in place that spells out the risks? I haven't looked at it as I'm not interested in it.

I'm not saying we are responsible for others irresponsible actions, just that we are here to help & being helpful sometimes means covering others butts... as well as our own. ;-)

Also, seeing as how there is no Direct/Personal Messaging apart from "invite to chat" has anyone been able to alert the user about the leaked info?

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Re: Optional

RuNuts wrote:

admin wrote:

As for the location option on a user account, we've said many times that (a) it is optional and (b) users have the option of entering city/state/country, state/country, or just country.  There is no further information that would identify where someone resides.

Understood, is there a disclaimer or advisory in place that spells out the risks? I haven't looked at it as I'm not interested in it.

I'm not saying we are responsible for others irresponsible actions, just that we are here to help & being helpful sometimes means covering others butts... as well as our own. ;-)

Also, seeing as how there is no Direct/Personal Messaging apart from "invite to chat" has anyone been able to alert the user about the leaked info?

From the very top of the registration page:

Quote:

Create New TF Metals Account

Items marked with an asterisk are required. All other items are optional. Please note: Location and other information entered will be publicly available on your profile and posts.

Regarding alerting the user, I do not know if anyone has emailed him.  We have unpublished the thread, so no further information can be tracked.  Private Messaging is something we may be addressing in the near future to be able to deal with these matters.

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RuNuts
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Re: Messaging

admin wrote:

Private Messaging is something we may be addressing in the near future to be able to deal with these matters.

Awesome! While I have you ear, are there plans to address an "Ignore" feature?

Thank you! 

silverbleve
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Security Concerns

I apologize if I offended anyone. My profession is IT security and I am  trained to point out these kinds of vulnerabilities. If it were another forum, say some yahoo message board or kitco and someone put up some pictures with exif data I would just stfu. Here in Turdtown we encourage a sense of community and help each other a little more than we would otherwise. I do not apologize for sounding the alarm bell on that particular topic but in retrospect perhaps I rang it with a little too much vigor.

Nonetheless, the vulnerability persists. Since we have the capacity here to post pictures from a 3rd party site the solution might not be an auto scrubber for file uploads as I originally proposed, but a little awareness on everyone's part in this department will surely go a long way.

Frankly I don't want to know where anyone here is located and I don't think that info should be out there for anyone else either. I didnt post the info "just because I can" I did it to show that anyone can. 

Captain Silver
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Please don't censor!!!

I would hope people here are smarter than to operate as themselves in open forum with personal info freely available.  There are numerous posts in the forums that give away info that shouldn't be out there.

If the Turd feels the need to provide a disclaimer for this in the spirit of helping/educating, maybe it will help some folks avoid making bad decisions, but I seriously doubt there is any way that tfmetalsreport.com and the Turd can be held liable for someone posting: I have 1000 oz of silver in my sock drawer and live at 1234 Main St.   The forums are obviously open to the public with no registration required to read and nothing that says that your identity is protected.

I like the fact that these forums have remained clean and friendly and don't mind the removal of offensive posts that provide no info, but I really feel that this site will work best for its intended purpose if there is no censorship due to concerns such as protection of personal info.  

Quite frankly, I want to be able to ask questions specifically about the preparedness of other's whose opinions I've come to respect reading them here, on ZH and other sites.  The power of this forum is to be able to get straight, specific answers.

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Captain Silver, completely

Captain Silver, completely agree with you.  There is no intent to censor.  

With a situation like this, we feel the prudent thing to do is unpublish the thread and have a chance to discuss with Turd.  We'd rather be on the cautious side, get Turd's opinion, then move forward.  

I'm sure you can understand we're all trying to figure out the best ways to help this new site be as successful as possible, and would rather not make any rash decisions.  All of the posts are still in the system, we haven't deleted anything.  They are just turned off at this time.

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Warren James
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Yep (Seconded SilverBleve's Comment, + additional)

SilverBleve, also in IT - you are very correct. The potential exploit is worse IMO, and is something that the website guys really need to reconsider. Using the ability to add an image, with the correct hidden spacer image, I could potentially harvest the IP Addresses of everyone who viewed a certain page/thread. From there I could use a Geo-locator and could track their approximate location of everyone who is not using an anonymous proxy. Recommendations: Disable the ability to post images, Disable the 'Google Maps' thing, just to reduce the overall exposure (if admins want to retain that feature, that's fine).

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SilverBleve, thanks for the

SilverBleve, thanks for the message.  I think you've raised an important concern and people should be careful about the information they decide to post on the Internet, and we do appreciate you doing so.  I don't know that necessarily anyone is offended... maybe the person who's picture you analyzed?  I'm not sure, I don't know his opinion.

The main reason we decided to unpublish the thread is because this is a learning opportunity for us.  We have the chance to discuss with Turd and get his thoughts on the situation.  We're dealing with some of these matters for the first time, and we want to make sure he has input.

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stephanie
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People should have a choice

I'm in the firm camp that people should be able to choose whether they want to share their personal information (name, location, etc.) on these forums.

While I think it's good to be cautious, I would not be overly concerned that a hi-tech group of silver thieves is monitoring forums like this one, just waiting for an opportunity to cull people's addresses, so they can then go traipsing across an extremely large country to go rob people who are more likely than most to be armed and dangerous.

Most robbers at this time are still likely to be poor, undereducated, desperate people who are looking for easy targets that are close by and accessible.

You should know, people can find all sorts of things about you on the Internet - and it may not be from this forum. If you have a unique username, they could potentially track you on other sites you use just by googling the username. But I would not get overly paranoid about it.

As a single female, I am not at all concerned about people knowing I live in Austin, Texas. I wouldn't willingly hand out my home address but I'm not afraid about my city or state. Heck, I lived in Los Angeles for many years - in areas with very dangerous gangs (Venice, CA) - I've had very dangerous gangster guys harass me in my car just because I had a funny look on my face. Yes, I'm careful in Austin, but after years in LA I'm not scared by much.

At any rate, as one of the site developers, thanks for pointing things out to us...you can help us out if you see anything amiss, please try not to actively break stuff, however. :-)

Thanks
Stephanie

RuNuts
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I Complete Agreement W/ SiverBleve's Concerns

Just not the publicly making an example out of a user.

Sure, go ahead and publish any data about yourself you like just leave other users out of it. No one is suggesting censorship that I've seen.

If as an IT worker I find something questionable on your computer the information is evaluated according to policy set by the "boss". If it is shared in any direction it goes up to the boss,  not out to all the general staff.

/just sayin

Robert LeRoy Parker
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Can I get a summary of what this is about?

I'd like to know what exactly happened if someone would indulge me. Thanks.

RuNuts
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Robert LeRoy Parker

I'll hit your contact info.

silverbleve
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Google maps

I only requested that my own posts be removed from the aforementioned thread. It is not a censorship issue, the heart of the problem being that a certain user had unknowingly posted his gps coordinates in an image. I wanted to bring attention to this problem in hopes that other turds could avoid doing so in the future. I posted the info, along with a quick tutorial so anyone else could check their own pictures before uploading.

As I stated above, a little community awareness is probably all that need happen to effectively fix the problem.

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Could you repost?

Silverbleve, good call out.  I missed the original thread and understand it's been dispublished.

Can you repost the information about removing coordinates for the benefit of all?

I believe I'm safe with a dumbphone and a regular digital camera however I'll soon be moving to a smartphone.

Thanks!

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silverbleve
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I will

Understand the internet is a wide open place. The perception of security is only that. This is not an end all solution to maintaining your privacy, but its a good start. 

The data we were discussing that is embedded in digital images is called exif data, and here is a link to an web interface type tool you can use to bring it up:

http://regex.info/exif.cgi

Our helpful admin Stephanie provides a good example to use, the pic in her avatar has no gps data. The gps location data is missing from her photo because the phone she used to take the picture was a motorola blackberry and had no gps capability. This is a perfect example of a well posted picture, even though she is fine letting people she lives in Austin TX (great town been there once)

So hat tip to Stephanie for showing the correct and secure way to post images.

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