Removing Metadata from files before you post or share them is a critical step in protecting your privacy. Many people don’t realize that photos and videos, especially those taken with your cell phone, contain extra information called Metadata. Some of this Metadata is safe and boring. It includes things like the exposure information from the camera lens, and the color profile of the image. However it often also includes personal information that can be a threat to your privacy and safety.
Privacy and Safety Concerns
If you don’t remove Metadata, your name, location of your home, and more can be shared along with your innocent photo or video. Even things that might seem innocuous initially, such as the serial number of your camera, can be a risk. Your camera’s serial number can be used to tie every photo and video ever taken with that camera together. This allows someone who you sent a picture to, or who finds an uploaded or re-shared photo or video online, to track it back to you (using other photos perhaps on your family website or shared on Facebook).
It is better to be safe, rather than sorry! Before you upload, email, text, or share a photo or video from your phone or computer, you should remove all the metadata first. We’ve made that easy with our new privacy service website: Remove-Metadata.com. Quick, easy, and free, the website lets you securely remove the metadata from your files.
The Remove-Metadata.com site is currently limited to removing metadata from photos and videos and files under 500 MB. We will soon be adding support for more file types, including business documents like Word, Excel, and PDFs. These common documents can leak all kinds of problematic or embarrassing information to your clients and competitors. We will also be adding email workflows, DropBox integration, and large file support as a premium service tier.
We built the solution using a Spring Boot Java application running on AWS EC2. It uses multiple AWS Lambda Serverless functions (including the S3 Lambda File Upload we wrote about here). It uses S3 and EFS for storage. And has CloudFlare running in front as a CDN and WAF.