Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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A photo from Facebook. I am using MS Windows 7. I tried a few online EXIF viewers and downloaded a few.

None of them show me the date the photo was shown, but some agree on the ICC profile data/time as being 2th Jan.

The photo was either taken on Thursday or some time between last November and now.

How can I be certain of the date? Can I go with that ICC profile date/time? Or is there some other way? Some info may have been stripped in the upload to FaceBook, but I have no access to the original.

(and why is there no JFIF tag? I have too few points to create one)

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As far as I know, Facebook strips the EXIF to avoid people doing that. How about asking the person who posted? Or using Photoshop CSI to discover the reflection of someone's iPhone showing the date in a drop of sweat somewhere ;) – Itai Mar 10 '12 at 3:00
+1 not encouraging, but thanks for trying to help :-/ – Mawg Mar 10 '12 at 12:46
I don't understand how you can say it's either Thursday, or the 2nd of January, or "sometime between last November and now". What do you base those three statements on? Something other than the EXIF data I imagine. – MikeW Mar 10 '12 at 21:31
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Facebook strips EXIF data from uploaded photos, as Itai said, I'm merely adding sources.

Facebook blog (2007):

We also have a fleet of servers who receive your photo uploads, happily scrubbing out EXIF data [...]

This is done for privacy reasons, so e.g. your boss cannot immediately tell that you were out hang gliding when you were supposed to be on sick leave, or the "bad guys" cannot trivially tell where you live and where your children go to school.

The latest update I know of is from the Facebook Photos product manager (2011):

We now make limited use of camera EXIF/IPTC data. EXIF rotation information is no longer ignored. Photo comments are automatically populated with the IPTC title and caption.

We're looking into more deeply integrating other EXIF/IPTC data into the product, but want to do so in a way that's reliable and respects the privacy of our users.

Seems like a sensible policy to me. But it also means that there isn't supposed to be any reliable metadata left, so the answer to your question is probably down to Itai's suggestions.

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