Do you share photos? If you do, I’m sure you’ve at least heard about hidden information within images, but you might not be aware just how much is included. I’m not going to go into a ton of detail about EXIF metadata, but I do want to at least mention it. Just in case you don’t know it already. Or you want to spy on someone. Or if you are a nosy troll. Or just because you don’t want others to see YOUR hidden information.
With digital cameras and smart phones and GPS capabilities and more… there’s quite a bit you can learn from a photo — and you may be sharing more than you really want to. For example, without using any special software here’s what others might know:
With a free app or by visiting a URL, one can see your camera’s serial number, the firmware used, your lens model, your lens serial number, date and time of modifications (complete with time zone offsets), what software you used to make changes, focal length, changes in luminosity, etc. etc. Oh, and EXACTLY where you were and EXACTLY what time you were there. With a map even.
Maybe no big deal — but the GPS info?
Even if you’re not like John McAfee running from the law in Belize — you simply might not want all this information out there. At a minimum, I suggest you disable location services unless it’s important for you to remember the location of your shoot.
If you’re only sharing photos on Facebook and Flickr, you don’t need to worry. Facebook deletes all of the EXIF data — including location — when you upload your files. On Flickr, you need to actively opt in to share EXIF data with others.