7

Had a question in mind to post to Home Improvement when it got me to thinking about EXIF data. In most Stack Overflow questions where I would attach a picture, it would usually be a screen shot. However, in Home Improvement's case, I actually want to upload a camera picture.

If I upload this picture, is the EXIF data removed, or would viewers be able to retrieve the EXIF (and in turn GPS coordinates) data?

11

Stack Exchange uses imgur for uploading and hosting the images. Imgur will strip the EXIF data once the image is uploaded to their server. Yes, GPS coordinates will also be removed as it relates to your identity. So, no worry of GPS coordinates of your house going online.

Why does imgur strips the EXIF data?

Here is a reply from imgur userecho question Where is the EXIF data? :

This is one of the features of the service. exif data is removed because the images are shared publicly and the developer does not want hidden information to leak accidentally by users who might have no idea what exif information is stored in the photos. I do not think there is any setting available on imgur platform that retains the data if you so desire.

Here is reply from Alan Schaaf (Founder of imgur):

Sorry, but exif data is striped on purpose to keep the anonymity of the uploader. This will not change.

  • 1
    Thanks! That makes me feel safer in posting a picture! :) – Kritner Sep 16 '15 at 11:40
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It seems to be removed from StackExchange postings. But more generally, if you want to upload a picture to any web site and want to be sure the EXIF data is not included, you can strip the EXIF data. I use ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick:

gm convert image_with_exif.jpg image.ppm
gm convert image.ppm image_without_exif.jpg
or
convert image_with_exif.jpg image.ppm
convert image.ppm image_without_exif.jpg

with newer versions of ImageMagick (version 7.0.0-0 and later), use "magick" instead of "convert".

You can do it with one command

gm convert image_with_exif.jpg -strip image_without_exif.jpg
or
convert image_with_exif.jpg -strip image_without_exif.jpg

But then you have to trust ImageMagick or GraphicsMagick to strip it properly (it does, trust me, but don't sue me if it doesn't).

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