EXIF DATA

Posted on March 8, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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  1. EXIF Data: When an image is captured, it may provide a range of valuable information that can be useful in determining how the photographer captured the image and the tools used in the process. Therefore, Exchangeable Image File Format (EXIF) is a type of data stream that defines specific details related to an image or other types of media captured using a digital camera. The image can expose vital details such as the date and time the image was captured, camera exposure, shutter speed, camera name, and the GPS location where the picture was taken. Generally, EXIF data informs an interested analyst about who, what, when, how, and where the image was captured. 

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  1. Process of Extracting Data from Images, Best Practices, and Recommendations to Improve the Process: There are several ways one can extract EXIF data from an image. These include using the EXIF data add-in in Firefox, EXIF data viewer extension in Chrome, or using the EXIF data viewer in the device’s OS photo viewer. Using a post-processing tool such as Lightroom to extract EXIF data follows a typical procedure. You pick the image or file you want to extract the data from and export it to the extracting tool. Then select the “view metadata” option. In case selective data about the image is needed, checking or unchecking the boxes with the image elements is selected. It is advisable to practice correct settings in the gadget whenever capturing an image to avoid chaos later. To improve the extraction process, it is also recommendable to use editing tools that support various file versions, export web-optimized files, and extract data from images with watermarked copyright such as Adobe Lightroom. 

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  1. Importance of EXIF data for Forensics: EXIF data provides a crucial basis for investigation for forensic analysts. Some of the useful information includes camera information such as the manufacturer, time the image was taken, and the location where the image was captured. Interrogating the data helps in settling criminal cases and civil disputes. 
  2. Other Parties beside Forensic Analysts to whom EXIF data is of Importance: EXIF data is of importance for other parties, though unethical, such as in doxing, which is the act of targeting and attacking individuals for their political views and opinions or their lives. Hackers also use EXIF data to facilitate hacking and access to individual information, commit theft, and seize other details and property useful for them. Social media platforms may use EXIF data such as the make of the device, settings, and date an image was captured to improve the platform user’s experience and keep them safe. This was revealed by a Facebook representative and they recommend that if someone does not want to provide such data at all, they can remove it before uploading the image. 

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  1. The event that Used EXIF image data and what I hope to Learn: In 2012, the founder and developer of McAfee Virus Protection Software, John McAfee faced an arrest whose basis was the metadata details found in an image posted by Vice Media Company. The millionaire developer had earlier escaped from an investigation concerning one of his murdered neighbours in Belize. Journalists from Vice captured images hanging out with McAfee with its metadata that was used to trace McAfee. From this incident, we can deduce that no matter who takes an image and uploads it, it can be used to provide useful information about an individual. 

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References

ExposingtheInvisible. (2020). “Behind the Data: Investigating Metadata.” Retrieved from: https://exposingtheinvisible.org/en/guides/behind-the-data-metadata-investigations/

Raghavan, S., & Raghavan, S. V. (2014). Eliciting file relationships using metadata-based associations for digital forensics. CSIT 2, 49–64. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40012-014-0046-4

Mansurov, N. (2020). “EXIF Data Explained” Retrieved from: https://photographylife.com/what-is-exif-data#how-to-remove-exif-data

Germain, T. (2020).  “How a Photo’s Hidden ‘Exif’ Data Exposes Your Personal Information” Retrieved from: https://www.consumerreports.org/privacy/what-can-you-tell-from-photo-exif-data/

 

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