EXIF data how to check and strip
You can find a lot of information from an image posted, you took with your smartphone, or camera then posted. Since the Exif tag contains information about the photo, it can pose a privacy issue. For example, a photo taken with a GPS-enabled camera/phone can reveal the exact location and time it was taken, and the unique ID number of the device This is all done by default. Let’s go through exactly what is revealed in a un-stripped image.
EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) data.
- Camera settings. This includes static information such as the camera model and make, and information that varies with each image such as orientation (rotation), aperture, shutter speed, focal length, metering mode, and ISO speed information.
- Date and time information. Digital cameras/phones will record the current date and time and save this in the metadata.
- In addition, Exif also defines a Global Positioning/Geo location. The Exif format has standard tags for location information. Most mobile phones/cameras have a built-in GPS receiver that stores the location information in the Exif header when the picture is taken.
Here is a great web meta tool to check just EXIF data:
Another excellent web meta tool i use often that links to many different supported operations, such as:
- Reverse/Similar search (Tineye/Google etc)
For finding other webpages with same/similar image. Useful for finding original source, creator, remaining images from a group, or where else on the web same image may be posted.
- Hidden data (exif · http headers · error level)
- EXIF: GPS location data/camera/phone model/Date taken etc
- Http headers: Tells you the age of a file/type of server hosting the file/type of data being sent to your browser etc
- Error level: A forensic tool that can indicate possible editing of a photo using (Error Level Analysis)
- Also links to many image manipulation tools.
Now if you wish to strip your image before posting it i suggest using:
Disabling Geolocation/Geotagging on your phone:
Most modern digital cameras do not automatically add geolocation (Latitude and Longitude) metadata to pictures. The process for adding the geolocation data either requires specialized add on hardware, or post processing with software on the desktop after the pictures are taken.
There is a large exception to this rule: Smartphones. With the proliferation of smart phones that contain GPS locator technology inside, the cameras in these devices are already equipped with the specialized hardware to automatically add geolocation information to the pictures at the time they are taken.
Most people don’t realize that the action of automatic geotagging takes place on their smart phones, either because it is enabled by default, not exposed the user as an option, or was asked and then forgotten. As a result, individuals often share too much information about their location, right down to the exact Latitude and Longitude when snapping photos with their smartpphone and posting them online.
How do I disable this?
iPhone (iOS 4.x)
Apple greatly simplified the way to turn off location services on a per-application basis. To see your settings, go to Settings, General, then Location Services. From there you can set which applications can access your GPS coordinates or disable it entirely.
iPhone (iOS 3.x)
With the iOS 3.x there are two ways to disable Geotagging of photos. The first involves disabling of all location based services. To disable this feature, Go to Settings, General then set Location Services to off.
Be warned: This will turn off ALL location based services for ALLapplications. Of course we may actually have need to use location based services for other applications (such as maps and driving directions, or getting robbed via Foursquare), but just not for our pictures.
There is no easy way to disable location based servces for just one application. However, we can make the iPhone prompt us at first use for each application. Once reset, the first time we enter the application we can enable or disable location based services for the application. To do so we need to go to Settings, General, Reset.
Be careful here! We want to select Reset Location Warnings, and then Reset Warnings. This restores all of our Location based warnings for each application to the default, which in most cases is “Ask on first use”.
From here, once we enter into the default Camera app on the iPhone, we can select Don’t Allow. This will prevent the Camera app from geotagging our photos.
There are two ways to turn off geotagging. To completely disablefinding for all applications, we will need to do the following:
Press the Menu Key and then Settings
Then press Location and security
By default, GPS is on. Uncheck it to turn it off
Like disabling the GPS in the iPhone, this will break location based information for all applications, including legitimate uses.
In order to disable for just the camera application, start the Camera app to make sure that you are not saving your location. This is the menu on the left side of the camera application; it slides out from left to right.
Select “Store Location” and make sure it is set to off.
Once this is disabled, the camera app will no longer add geotags to your images.
There are multiple ways to disable the geo-tags on Blackberry. Three ways here:
Select Options, Advanced Options, GPS, press Menu key, Select Disable GPS and select Yes to confirm. This will disable all GPS capabilities on the phone.
Select Options, Security, Applications Permissions, menu select Edit on the application (default is Prompt for BB Core), Expand Connections, Change Location (GPS) to “Deny”, or you can disable within the application. Most apps i.e. Google Maps, Ubertwitter, etc… will just default everything to “allow” for app perms regardless of app settings chosen during setup.
Go into picture-taking mode (via HomeScreen, click icon “Camera”), press the Menu button and choose “Options”. Set the “Geotagging” setting to be “Disabled”. Finally, save the updated settings.
Point and shoot cameras:
If your device includes this geodata as the default option, you’ll need to disable it in your settings. If you’re working with a point-and-shoot camera or a DSLR, you can find this through the settings menu on your camera - just look for a menu mentioning “geotagging,” “location” or “geodata” and to be sure the feature isn’t enabled.
Many devices have different ways/options to disable geotagging, if this tutorial didn’t help you i suggest you just Google the make/version of yours and search.