You know how sometimes you upload a photo to Facebook, and it autofills the location? That’s not just the ghost in the machine reading your mind. Social networks are among the sites that can read a photo’s metadata. When you snap a pic on your smartphone, you’re also taking down where, how, and when you took it. While this is true of most digital camera photos, most people are also more regularly snapping phone pics.
This invisible data is a plot point on a recent episode of reality show Vanderpump Rules. (If you don’t know what that is, I’m not gonna explain it here.) Essentially, one person is trying to suggest another person had cheated with her by showing photos of them together. The accused then proclaims: “Do you know how easy it is? You can change pictures, dates on apps! There are apps to change a whole f*cking face nowadays!” Cursed situation aside, there’s truth in that statement.
Tech website The Verge used the above situation to offer a primer on changing photo metadata.
So, say you’re in a situation similar to the one on Vanderpump Rules. (Roll with me.) What could you do to alleviate it?
There are the more hardcore fixes, like getting a desktop photo editor program. Adobe Lightroom or Exif Editor are the offered samples. Your best bet is probably the iPhone app EXIF-fi; it’s 99 cents and lets you change multiple photos at once. But if you’re trying to bring an older photo into the present, there’s an even simpler trick: just take a screenshot. Crop out the rest of the screen, and there you go.
Now, we’re not suggesting that you regularly get into morally dicey or just weird situations. But if you ever find yourself needing to change up your photos’ details, now you know how!