A property management company is using my photos for the second time without permission. They said it was an honest mistake the second time. So I asked for proof and samples of the images they intended to post.

I believe they went out and took new pics the next morning and edited the EXIF date but didn’t know enough to also change the tiff date.

Is there a circumstance where the dates would be so different but also so similar (i.e. the seconds count is the same). The date discrepancy is the same for all the images (14). Exact same time and minute and seconds count but reflects 2/6/2020 in tiff and 11/01/2019 in exif.

In addition, the same bag of trash is in the same spot when I went by today as it was in their picture supposedly taken over three months ago. So, that fuels my distrust.

Thanks - I imagine someone could get fired so I want to be sure before I accuse.

(2-10-2020: updated the questions to remove the exif image and inserted a dropbox link in the comments.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just pointing out that since the images has been hosted at imgur, all metadata has been stripped. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarGeek
    Feb 7, 2020 at 19:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ That makes sense - I'll delete it. I thought people might be able to review it but now I see the note re: meta data at the bottom of my posted question. \$\endgroup\$
    – DAWDAW
    Feb 7, 2020 at 19:18
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Can you extract the metadata using exiftool and edit the info into your question? \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Feb 7, 2020 at 20:22
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Google Drive or Dropbox would be a couple places that wouldn't alter the file. Otherwise, as @scottbb said, the output of exiftool, specifically exiftool -G1 -a -s would be an alternative. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarGeek
    Feb 7, 2020 at 21:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ The exact same time of day, to the thousandth of a second, but a different day? Not possible. Someone fiddled the date and didn't think about time. That's pretty damning evidence, Dawdaw. \$\endgroup\$
    – user86643
    Feb 10, 2020 at 2:08

1 Answer 1


There are basically three important time stamps in there, the Date/Time Original, the Create Date, and the Modify Date. The ones near the start are important. The ones near the end would be in the Composite group, tags that exiftool creates based upon the values of other tags, so those can be ignored.

All three of these time stamps would be exactly the same coming out of a camera at the start. The Modify Date is supposed to be updated whenever the image is altered, but that is dependent upon the software used and many programs don't do this. Usually only higher end programs such as Adobe programs will edit it correctly.

It is highly suspicious that the Create Date and Date/Time Original are different than the Modify Date and have the same time portion as the Modify Date. For that to happen, it would have to have been edited on the later date at the same second as the original photo was taken. Additionally, a program that would actually set the Modify Date correctly would leave other indications that it had been edited. Specially, there would be tags such as Software, XMPToolkit, and CreatorTool listing the name of the tool used to edit it, such as "Adobe XMP Core ", "Adobe Photoshop Lightroom" or "ACDSee".

While I could not say with absolute certainty that the date has been edited, there are enough discrepancies to raise suspicion.

The may be additional data that is not displayed here. There are often multiple tags with the same name but in different groups. By default, exiftool won't display the duplicates. Running the command
exiftool -a -G1 FILE.JPG
would display those additional tags.


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