Question from Jeremy P.: I’m a professional photographer who uses Facebook and Twitter to showcase some of my images to potential customers.
I’ve noticed that those services automatically strip the metadata from every photo as it’s being uploaded.
The metadata in my photos is important because it contains my name and copyright info. I DO NOT want it removed when I upload my photos to Facebook and Twitter.
Is there any way to prevent them from stripping the metadata from my uploaded photos? I can’t find a setting for it anywhere on either website. Thanks in advance for your help.
Rick’s answer: Hi Jeremy. I hate to have to tell you this, but the answer to your question is no. Facebook and Twitter strip the metadata from every photo that’s uploaded to their servers, and there is currently no way to prevent them from doing so.
I know all too well the negative impact this policy has on professional photographers, but social networking services do it to protect the privacy and security of their users and their children.
As you know, photos taken with cameras and mobile devices that have GPS enabled have the location where the photo was taken embedded in the metadata. Photos of children taken while they are at home or at school put them at risk of being stalked and/or abducted if the wrong person sees the photo and examines the metadata.
Publishing photos with the metadata intact could also place estranged/abused spouses and their children at risk of being found by someone who is intent on doing them harm.
For those reasons, I support the decisions of Facebook and Twitter to remove the metadata from photos by default.
I do believe however that adult users should have the option to change a setting that would disable the removal of metadata from their own photos if they choose to do so. I see no harm in Facebook allowing those who are aware of the risks (and rewards) to leave the meta data intact.
That would protect the privacy and security of those who need protecting while preserving the rights of photographers to protect and keep track of their own copyrighted photos. Hopefully they will make that option available to us at some point in the future.
Bonus tip: This post explains how to ensure that only your friends will be able to see the photos you post on Facebook.
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