ipad1The U.S. military has requested that all troops and their family members, whether they are at an overseas base, classified location or non-classified facility, avoid geotagging any smartphone photos from those locations and uploading them to social media sites.

Just such an incident occurred during 2007, when an enemy force was able to determine the exact location of a unit’s new fleet of helicopters from geotagging data and attack it precisely.

Many smartphone users may not be aware that their phone automatically records latitude and longitude for each photo. That is why the U.S. military has asked troops and their families to deactivate this automatic function and no longer use apps, such as foursquare, or posting geotagged photos on Facebook Timeline.

The military says it’s not just the nation’s enemies that want this data, but also the criminal element. It might be able to determine the best time to burglarize a soldier’s residence if he or she is not home for long periods of time and appears in photos from overseas’ locations.