Can You Really Stalk Somebody Through Their Eyeball Reflections?

October 16, 2019

Recently, a stalker found and attacked a Japanese pop star, in part by using an eye reflection to figure out what train station she uses. (He then waited for her at the train station and followed her home.) This got us wondering: how easy is it to get clues about somebody’s location from their selfies?

Before we dive into eyeball reflections, it’s important to note that phones and cameras save extra information in the photo file, including what kind of camera was used to take the photo, whether the flash fired, and (depending on your phone’s settings) a GPS location for where the photo was taken. Some social media platforms may remove location data, but if you’re concerned about privacy, you may want to check your settings to be sure you’re not giving this information away too easily.

To test out the eyeball reflection strategy, fellow Lifehacker staffer Nick Douglas and I took a look at each other’s selfies. We each chose a few that were taken outdoors or in a public place, and stared deeply into each other’s eyes, digitally. It was kind of creepy.

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