Keep your Exif metadata private with this open source tool

ExifCleaner is a cross-platform open source tool that easily removes all Exif metadata from images, videos, PDFs, and other types of files.
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Data Privacy Day 2017: Solutions for everyday privacy

g4ll4is on Flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0

These days, nearly everyone has a digital camera. Cameras are an integral part of smartphones and laptops. If you're interacting with consumer electronics, you probably have a digital camera available.

Accordingly, there are billions of digital images on the internet from various devices and sources. Each image from a digital camera has Exchangeable image file format (Exif) metadata embedded into it. Exif data provides information about where and when the picture was taken, the camera used to produce the image, the file size, MIME type, color space, and much more.

Each picture you take with a digital camera contains numerous tags which provide a great deal of information, some of which might ordinarily be considered confidential.

Major social media platforms maintain that they remove this metadata to protect users from cybercrime. That is not the case for folks who have their own blogs and wikis and are posting pictures of loved ones, family gatherings, and classrooms. A person could download an image from a site and gain access to damaging personal information stored in the metadata.

View Exif data

How can you know what metadata is included in the images you share, and how can you remove it? Recently, I came across an open source project named ExifCleaner. ExifCleaner is a cross-platform open source tool that easily removes all Exif metadata from images, videos, PDFs, and other types of files.

Install ExifCleaner

ExifCleaner is released under the MIT license. It's easy to use and install.

Download and install the AppImage, deb, or rpm file on your Linux system.

For macOS and Windows, download the macOS installer or the Windows installer.

Use ExifCleaner

Once installed, launch the graphical application.

exif image metadata cleaner

(Don Watkins, CC BY-SA 4.0)

You can either drag and drop an image into the window or use Open from the File menu to load an image. You can load multiple images at once.

Once loaded, ExifCleaner clears all metadata instantly. There's no further action required, but there's also no confirmation or warning. Only open files in ExifCleaner that you want to scrub metadata from.

image metadata viewed in exif cleaner

(Don Watkins, CC BY-SA 4.0)

ExifCleaner works on dozens of file types, including JPG, 3G2, 3GP2, AAX, CR2, MOV, PDF, PNG, and many more.

Try ExifCleaner

ExifCleaner is available in twenty-four different languages. There is a large development community. If you are interested in contributing to the project's development, contact the team and check out the source code. Learn more about ExifCleaner at the official website.

Educator, entrepreneur, open source advocate, life long learner, Python teacher. M.A. in Educational Psychology, MSED in Educational Leadership, Linux system administrator, Follow me at @Don_Watkins .

1 Comment

Great, a graphical tool to do that.
Personally, I prefer the command line :

Eg.
exiftool -all= *.jpg

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