Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How to Remove Exif Data From Photos

Last week, I wrote about how to remove the exif information your digital camera or smartphone attaches to your photographs. Exif, which stands for exchangeable image file format, is a standard that specifies the formats for images, sound, and ancillary tags used by digital cameras (including smartphones), scanners and other systems handling image and sound files recorded by digital cameras. Exif data contains a number of metadata tags about the photo such as the date and time it was taken, make and model of the camera, various camera settings and other information including GPS information.  Exif data is a risk because by sharing photos over the internet, you may be revealing personal information such as where you live, where you work or where your children go to school.

 You have several options available.

Privacy Action Plan (PAP) - How to remove exif data from your photographs

One way to remove your exif information is to use the details tab within the properties dialog box in File Manager.  Simply find the file within File Manager, then right click on it and choose properties.  Click on the details tab, then click on the link at the bottom that says "Remove Properties and Personal Information"

The following dialogue box will appear:

Choose 'Create a copy with all possible properties removed'.  This will make a separate copy and leave all of your exif data intact in your existing photo.  Or you can leave some of the information there by choosing which attributes you would like removed, such as any GPS information.  This will actually remove the exif data in the existing file.

If you do not have this option available in the properties dialog box, you can remove this information for free online.  This method is less safe than removing it on your computer because you have to upload your photo with the exif information to the website so it can be removed.

There are a number of websites out there that will remove exif data for free, such as http://www.exifremove.com.  You upload the photo to the website and then download a new photo with the exif information removed.

There are various free downloadable tools for doing this as well, some of which can remove exif data from many photos all at once such as this program http://www.exiferaser.com/.  This option avoids the problem above of uploading images to a website.

Of course, you could always attempt to instruct your smartphone or camera to not record exif information to start with (at least the location data).  Some devices will let you do this, others will not.  Some helpful advice can be found here: http://www.icanstalku.com/how.php#disable

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