What is MetaData within a Digital Photograph or Image?
Image metadata is text based information that is added to a digital photograph by the device used to take or capture it, such as the make and model of the mobile phone, or the software used to edit it, such as Adobe Photoshop.
The metadata within a digital camera image normally includes the make and model of the camera used to capture it, the aperture, ISO number, date and time of the camera at the time it was taken, focal length and possibly, depending upon whether the settings of the handset permit it, the GPS location of the device at the point the photo was taken. This information is referred to as Technical Metadata.
The other main categories of metadata are:
Descriptive metadata – which normally includes the name of the company/individual who created the image, titles and comments as well as any keywords relating to it.
Administrative metadata – which normally includes licensing rights, restrictions on use as well as the contact information of the company or individual that owns the image.
Images Sent via WhatsApp
When a image is sent via WhatsApp to another user, it is often a photograph taken by one user and sent to the other. This type of image contains Technical metadata.
When that image is sent via WhatsApp, the recipient receives the image with none of the metadata from the original image as that information is removed automatically to reduce the size of the image when it is sent over the network.
When an image is sent via WhatsApp, the image is automatically stored to the recipient’s phone and the creation time/date of that image is set at that point.
In addition to this, when the image is originally taken by the sender handset, the device used to capture it normally sets the name of the image from the date and time it was taken.
As an example, a Samsung phone will name an image with the YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.jpg format (year, month, day, hour, minute, seconds).
When the image is sent via WhatsApp the name of it is altered to relate to the date that it had been received, not the point at which it had been originally taken.
Therefore, the point of creation of the image and the name of that image on the recipient phone relates to the point at which it had been sent not the point it had been originally captured by the sending device. Any metadata is also automatically removed by WhatsApp.
About Athena Forensics
For information on our digital forensic services or if you require any advice or assistance please contact a member of our team on 0330 123 4448 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org, further details are available on our contact us page.
Our client’s confidentiality is of the utmost importance. All correspondence is treated with discretion, from initial contact to the conclusion of any computer forensics investigation.
Our digital forensics experts are fully aware of the significance and importance of the information that they encounter and we have been accredited to ISO 9001 for 10 years.
Our forensic experts are all security cleared and we offer non-disclosure agreements if required. Our premises along with our security procedures have been inspected and approved by law enforcement agencies.
Athena Forensics do not disclose personal information to other companies or suppliers.