When we take pictures, tacked onto them are EXIF details; Exchangeable image file format.

In addition to the picture itself, the EXIF records supplemental metadata including date, time, camera setting, location and even copyright information. Default geotagging capabilities of modern phones and digital cameras means, most of us are capturing vital details about ourselves when we take photographs and are uploading most of them when we upload those photographs to personal websites, social networking sites, photo sharing sites and anywhere on the internet that takes pictures. Much more than we are aware of.

You are probably not worried much about data on the time and date a picture was taken, as well as details on the type of camera used, but geotagging; that is a concern.

I imagine you’ll want to have this disabled.

How do you do it?

You can simply go into your phone’s camera app and disable the location setting.

On an Android phone:

The location setting varies from OS to OS. But generally, find the settings option and click on location option and turn off the “save location” option.

On iOS:  

Go to Privacy controls in the settings, click on “location services” and while you can toggle the switch to turn off location services entirely, you could simply turn it off for the camera app by tapping on “Camera” and choosing “Never” in response to when the phone wants the app to use location services.

The phone will not record GPS details until you reenable it.

How about pictures already captured with GPS details attached?

It’s relatively easy on Windows, to remove or adjust metadata from photographs. Right-click on the photograph and select “Properties” in the menu. Click on “Remove Properties and Personal Information”  and you are golden.

For MAC, open the photo, select “Tools – Show Inspector” then click the “GPS” tab, then click on “Remove Location Info”.

Removing the EXIF metadata is a great idea. We already have enough unsolicited eyeballs peering into our lives; no need to give everyone our location in real-time via our selfies too.

Photo Credit: Colby Stopa via Compfight cc

Gbenga Onalaja Author

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