Android EXIF Data

exif

When you use your smartphone to snap a picture, your only thought is about what’s in the frame. After you take your photo you’re free to upload it to any social media site or share it with anyone you want. Well wait just one second, partner. You’re probably not thinking about the data that is stored in the image file. Did you know that if your camera app has location turned on, people can find the GPS locations of where that image was taken. This method of tracking has been used to find people involved with hanky panky. Are you one of them?

What is EXIF Data?

EXIF data is the information stored in your image file that contains details about the type of camera or phone used to take the photo. Those details include Camera Type, Exposure, Aperture, Focal Length, ISO Speed, Flash, Resolution, Orientation and if you’re using an Android phone it can also include Location.

When you first launch the camera app on your Android, you’ll notice that one of the first things it asks for is if you want to use location. In Android, location is used to organize your photos. So all the photos you took on your trip to the My Little Pony convention will be in one section.

Location PermissionPermission Granted
Screenshot_2015-11-20-00-18-18Screenshot_2015-11-20-00-18-23

But once you share those photos, other people can saved them and view the EXIF data. It would look a little something like this.

Location ONLocation OFF
Screenshot_2015-11-20-00-22-43Screenshot_2015-11-20-00-23-03

Not all social media websites will store EXIF data but most of them do. Cloud services like Dropbox, Drive, Skydrive and Mega will always keep the EXIF data because they’re storing the raw copy of that file. So unless you want people know exactly where you are, you might want to think twice before allowing your Android camera app to access your location. Especially if you’re trying to keep it on the down low that you’re going to My Little Pony conventions.