EXIF

People share their location, by uploading images to the Internet, and in most cases do not know they are doing so.

For example, “I know where your cat lives”: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/i-know-where-your-cat-lives-feline-photo-mapping-website-exposes-how-easy-it-is-to-track-the-owners-a6743621.html

And:

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/vvb7yx/this-guy-is-cyberstalking-the-worlds-cats-in-the-name-of-privacy.

Every image taken with a modern camera (or smartphone) has embedded in it the location where it was taken.

If you take a photograph in your garden – tools on the Internet can reveal where your house is:

https://www.pic2map.com/.

For other data that is embedded in photos read this:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-ways-to-remove-exif-metadata-from-photos-and-why-you-might-want-to/.

Wherever possible I like to recommend tools that are free or low cost.

One of my favoured image editors is a tool called GIMP:

https://www.gimp.org/.

This is both free and open source (all the code used to write GIMP is freely available).

The Gimp interface currently looks like this:

Gimp Interface

If I take a screen shot (an image with no embedded metadata), paste this into GIMP and select File – Export:

Export

Give the file a name:

name-file

Click Export (the name of the file determines which options you see here – I will show the options for JPEG).

advanced options

Expand Advanced Options.

save EXIF data Gray

The “Save EXIF Data” option is greyed out (the screenshot contains no EXIF data).

However, if I open a photograph with GIMP and follow the above steps, the “Advanced Options” looks like this:

save EXIF Data normal

The “save EXIF data” option is available (this is because the image contains EXIF data).

To remove the EXIF data from an image before uploading it to the Internet, follow the above steps. (Ensure that you export the image with a different name to that which the camera gave it by default – to avoid overwriting that original image).

Take the tick out of the “Save EXIF data” box as pictured above and click the Export button.

Your image now contains no information that can be used to identify you or your camera. The image is therefore safe to upload to the Internet.

There are of course alternative methods of removing EXIF data. This article details some of those:

https://www.howtogeek.com/203592/what-is-exif-data-and-how-to-remove-it/

 

Author: Phil Maud

Keen on privacy and IT Security. A volunteer counsellor. I use blogging to improve my writing.

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