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Watch out for hidden fingerprints on your photos

Metadata reveals hidden information including the photo’s timestamp and location; But there is something more dangerous and hidden than metadata called “image response non-uniformity” that many users are unaware of.
On October 3, 2020, the White House released two photos of Donald Trump reading and signing documents. The day before this happened, Trump had announced that she was infected with the corona virus and these photos were apparently published to show her unwell condition. Trump’s daughter Ivanka tweeted one of the photos with the caption: “Nothing can stop him from working for the American people. Tough!” However, sharp users noticed something strange in the photos.
These two photos were taken in two different rooms at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which has served many US presidents. In one of them, Trump is wearing a coat and in the other he has taken off his coat. In addition to public announcements about Trump’s health and his work ethics, it was supposed to be taken from the photos in such a way that Trump was busy serving the American people all day despite his illness; Unaware that the time tag of these photos said something else: The interval between the two photos was only 10 minutes, not the whole day that the White House was trying to imply.
There could be other reasons why these two photos were taken close to each other. Maybe the photographer was only allowed to be there for 10 minutes, and maybe Trump really wanted to go to another room for 10 minutes to continue her work. Whatever the reason, the fact that users noticed the time tags on the photos did not sit well with the White House. This story reached the media, and the position of most people was that these photos were taken for a political purpose and that Trump was not serving the people all day with “stubbornness” as his daughter claimed.
It is possible to remove metadata from photos with the help of free tools such as ExifTool; But here’s the thing, many people don’t even know that such information is hidden in their photos, let alone what they might be used for. Therefore, many users publish their photos on the Internet without removing the metadata.
Some social networking platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, automatically remove location-related information from photos; Of course, only from the public eye. However, many websites do not have such a feature and the metadata of published photos is available to other users.
The ignorance of many users about the information that their photos secretly reveal has been useful for investigators and catching criminals at the scene of the crime; But it violates the privacy of law-abiding citizens and endangers their security. It has happened many times that criminals who are aware of this information, knowing when and where a photo was taken, have started stealing and harassing.

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