Beware, frequenters of the #CatsOfInstagram hashtag: You could be broadcasting your cat’s — and your own — whereabouts to anyone and everyone on the Web. That’s what a new site titled “I Know Where Your Cat Lives” is seeking to highlight.
A Florida State University professor named Owen Mundy created the site using photos on social networks tagged #cat and a supercomputer to map where a sample of one million cats — out of several million posted — reside worldwide.
“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,” Mundy wrote on the site.
Using satellite imagery, Mundy has overlaid snaps of cats on locations across the globe. He doesn’t reveal exact addresses, but it’s pretty easy to suss out where they’re located. Gulp.
Right about now you’re probably wondering how you can prevent your cat — and you — from appearing on Mundy’s site (and others from accessing your location information). Well, many photos taken on a phone contain exact location info, but luckily you can nix that data by disabling geotagging on your device. On an iPhone, you can do this by going to “settings,” then “privacy,” “location services” and turning that off on your camera and assorted apps.
Happy cat-petting — and -snapping!