Social media and the whole plethora of apps that you get to have on a smartphone, have compromised the privacy of an individual to a great extent. The moment you take a picture or ‘check in’ to some place on, say, Facebook, this reveals your location. While for an average user, it may not be very important, it is crucial for a soldier and his unit. And that is why US Army has warned its soldiers about the use of locations services.
A few years ago, in 2007, some soldiers posted photos of a new helicopter fleet that had just arrived at their Iraqi base – these photos were then accessed by the enemies who then determined the exact location of the fleet and were able to destroy four helicopters.
That makes it pretty evident how important it is for a soldier to be careful when using any social network or location services. This is because a soldier spends most of his time with his unit. And so, whenever he uploads any images or ‘checks in’ at any place, anyone watching his profile will automatically believe that he and his unit both are at that place. So he can jeopardize not only his security but also that of his unit.
The US Army isn’t really forcing any soldiers to quite using social networks of location-related services altogether. Rather, its statement merely emphasizes on the harm of using these tools carelessly. Especially, the statement calls upon the soldiers to disable geotagging features on the smartphones so that they may not reveal their location, even incidentally.
Image courtesy schos.