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Law Enforcement learns the threats of emerging technologies in a training

| October 18, 2013


Emerging technologies may make day to day life easier. But there’s a potential downside when it comes to privacy. So today a training was held at UMFK for police and students concerning the threat. Snapping a photo with your smart phone may seem harmless. But if you don’t disable geo-tagging, you may reveal a whole lot of information about yourself to the wrong person.

Captain Joseph Rampolla of the Park Ridge NJ Police Dept. said,  “Sometimes with phones by default they could actually have geo-tagging on. They can add their latitude and longitude onto the picture and then people can see that and come to their house or follow them and they don’t realize that they’re being tracked.”

And that’s just one of many ways that children or people of any age can make themselves vulnerable to predators through technology, without even knowing it. Which makes it vital for the police to stay informed and up to date as technology moves forward.

Deputy Canine Officer of the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office Mitchell Wheeler said, “The training has allowed us to see through a technical lense what’s happening in our community virtually. It’s making us aware of what information is out there that we don’t see.”

Apps like Foursquare which leave a virtual footprint at places a user “checks-in” to make it easier than ever for people to be tracked down and stalked.

Captain Joseph Rampolla of the Park Ridge NJ Police Dept. said, “There’s over 600,000 apps now that people can use and it’s a challenge for law enforcement to know which apps are safe apps and which apps or which apps are being used properly, and how bad guys might be able to use them in other ways.”

The good news? Adjusting geo-tagging settings is an easy fix; location can be disabled by a simple switch to off under privacy settings. And there’s even a website you can use to see if your photo has been tagged with location information. The main take away? Education is key when it comes to protecting yourself from the capabilities of new technologies.

Today’s training was funded by a grant through the Aroostook County Task Force to end domestic violence and sexual assault.

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