Do you know, every picture you take from your camera, has EXIF metadata ( Exchangeable Image File Format). In simple words, this metadata holds information like your camera modal, date when the picture was taken, editing software if used, and even the geographical location if your phone’s location settings is turn ON.
Now that is some, good personal information. Right ? But average internet users don’t know all this. But now that you know, doesn’t it make sense to you, to remove these personal information, before you upload those picture to web.
Because if you don’t, then you are putting yourself and your loved once’s at the stake of cyber stalking. How? Well any smart person, can find out your private details by analyzing your photo. Stalker can guess, when and where you are spending your holidays, which phone do you use etc etc.
If you don’t believe me, then open any Google+ picture of your friend and look under photo details. (see screenshot below) More details can be found, by downloading the photo and uploading it, to online EXIF metadata viewer.
Also read related article: Detect if the Image is Photoshop Fake or not
Although website like Facebook, strip this EXIF metadata- before uploading to their server, other popular sites (like Google+, flicker) don’t. And even if, the website claim to remove metadata, it’s possible that they may store these metadata, for future use. Therefore I strongly suggest, to remove metadata, before you upload them anywhere.
So how do we do that? Well it’s quite simple. In this article we see, how to remove metadata from photos from Window, Mac, Android and iOS.
Remove EXIF Metadata From Photos
In windows you can remove metadata by either deleting them from image’s property or by using a software.
My prefered way of doing it is – Select all images > right-click > properties > details > at the bottom you will see a link which say ‘remove personal data’, click on that > remove following properties. (see gif below)
But if you are into softwares, then you can use small windows utility called ExifCleaner. This tiny program can batch remove the EXIF data. But the only downside is, the free version allow only 7 files at once.
For Mac users ther is, no simple right-click option like Windows. But even worst it’s difficult. To begin with, the popular myth of changing file type of the image from jpg to png to again jpg- doesn’t work.
One can use a, free program called ImageOptim. It’s popularly use to compress images without losing its quality and can also remove EXIF metadata. But again, in my testing it did’nt work quite well. It was able to compress most images but not all. And the images that were not compress, still have the metadata intact with them.
The only option left then is to, take a screenshot of the image (Command+Shift+4) and then uploading it.
We often share picture (via WhatsApp, Instagram) directly from our mobile devices. So to batch remove, EXIF metadata, directly from your Android use EZ UnEXIF. The App interface is plain and simple, import all your pictures > remove your metadata and then upload them.
However removing metadata is not always possible, therefore it’s always better to turn OFF geo-location by going to your camera setting.
Similar app for iPhone, iPad users is TrashExif. This free app works on the same principle as above, i.e. import pictures > select metadata that you want to remove. And that’s it, plain and simple.
To turn OFF camera access to your geo-location on iOS goto your Setting > Privacy > Location Service > Camera and tap or select ‘never’.