View Your Photo’s Hidden Side

Tech Skill Level: Casual Phone-tographer

I love coming home from vacation and seeing my photos scattered on the map, showing me where every photo was taken. It shows me how much of a city I traversed, how to return to a street or restaurant I loved and see the sites in relation to each other. Thank you, Exif data!

The Exif data is hidden in a file attached to each photo and it contains more information than you can imagine. This includes whether or not the flash went off, the longitude and latitude, the altitude, whether it was the phone’s front or back camera, all of the camera settings and, in one of the apps I tried, even the direction you were facing when you took the picture. You’ll find plenty of these apps on both Apple’s App Store and Android’s Play Store. These apps also remove the EXIF data from a photo so you don’t inadvertently give away your home address when you were just trying to sell your bicycle.

Fortunately, social networks won’t publicly post this location info unless you want them to. They do use the data to further complete their profiles of you and send you more apropriate ads. I like that but if that’s too personal for you, use one of these apps to remove the EXIF data before posting it to Facebook or Instagram.

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