Written by Nick Heer.

EXIF Data Crisis Watch

Christina Bonnington of Wired sounds the alarm:

[Y]ou could be inadvertently telling the world your location every time you send out a photo. What do Facebook snaps, tweeted candids, MMS messages to your plumber, and almost every other photo-based form of digital communication have in common? The metadata embedded in your smartphone’s photos.

Partially correct: MMS messages to your plumber1 will carry GPS data, but they know where you live anyway. But almost every photo hosting site — Imgur, Twitter, and Facebook included — strip all EXIF data from uploaded photos, including removing embedded GPS information.

Update: It appears that Photobucket doesn’t remove EXIF data, and Flickr retains it in the original size. Flickr has a setting to prevent public access to the original size; you shouldn’t be using Photobucket anyway.

  1. How many plumbers accept appointment bookings via text message? ↩︎