The Ethics of EXIF Data: Navigating the Moral Landscape of Photography

In the age of digital photography, the information accompanying an image goes beyond pixels and colors. Every photograph carries a hidden treasure trove of data known as EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) data. While EXIF data serves practical purposes for photographers, its collection, sharing, and use raise important ethical considerations. In this blog post, we will delve into the ethics of EXIF data, exploring the delicate balance between privacy, artistic freedom, and the benefits of metadata transparency.

The Anatomy of EXIF Data

Before we dive into the ethical aspects, let’s understand what EXIF data is and what it contains. EXIF data is a metadata format that stores a wealth of information about a photograph, such as:

  1. Camera Settings: It includes details like shutter speed, aperture, ISO settings, and lens information. This information can be valuable for photographers seeking to replicate specific shots.
  2. Date and Time: The exact date and time when the photo was taken.
  3. Geolocation: GPS coordinates of where the photo was taken. This feature is particularly beneficial for landscape photographers and travel enthusiasts.
  4. Copyright and Authorship: Photographer’s name, copyright information, and contact details may also be embedded.
  5. Software and Equipment: Information about the camera, lens, and editing software used for post-processing.

Ethical Considerations

Now that we’ve established what EXIF data entails, let’s delve into the ethical considerations surrounding it:

  • Location Data: The inclusion of GPS coordinates in EXIF data raises concerns about privacy. When shared online or in public, this data can potentially disclose an individual’s whereabouts, infringing on their privacy.
  • Ownership and Authorship: EXIF data often contains the photographer’s name and contact information. While this can help in establishing ownership and protecting copyright, it also exposes photographers to potential privacy risks if not used responsibly.


  • Informed Consent: Photographers should obtain informed consent from individuals appearing in their photographs, especially if the images are shared publicly. EXIF data can inadvertently reveal personal information, emphasizing the need for transparency and consent.
  • Street Photography: The practice of capturing candid street photos raises questions about the ethics of capturing and sharing images of strangers without their knowledge or consent, even if EXIF data doesn’t directly identify them.


  • Stalking and Harassment: In some unfortunate cases, EXIF data has been exploited for malicious purposes, such as tracking individuals or revealing their home addresses. This underscores the importance of safeguarding this data and using it responsibly.


  • Credit and Attribution: While it’s important to respect the rights of photographers and give proper credit, it’s equally crucial to strike a balance between attribution and privacy when sharing photos.
  • Artistic Freedom: Some argue that removing or altering EXIF data can be an artistic choice, giving photographers greater control over how their work is perceived and shared.


  • Beneficial Uses: EXIF data can be immensely valuable for photographers, educators, and researchers. It allows for the study of photography techniques, the reproduction of specific shots, and the preservation of historical data.

The ethics of EXIF data is a multifaceted issue that encompasses privacy, consent, creative freedom, and responsible use. Striking a balance between these factors is essential to ensure that photography remains an art form that respects both the rights and privacy of individuals. Photographers should be mindful of the information they include in their EXIF data, and consumers of images should handle this data with care and respect. Ultimately, a thoughtful and ethical approach to EXIF data can help preserve the integrity of photography in the digital age.


You can view exif information any of your devices. 

There are also apps that shows EXIF metadata for images saved on your device. For iOS user we suggest “Exif Viewer by Fluntro“.

  • Download an EXIF viewer app from the App Store, such as “Exif Viewer by Fluntro.”
  • Open the app, import your photo, and View, Remove and Edit the EXIF data.

Appstore Link: –

Screenshot of EXIF Viewer by Fluntro app displaying detail view of all exif information of a photo

Checkout the preview video of Exif Viewer by Fluntro:

Download EXIF VIEWER by FLUNTRO Appstore

EXIF Tools to view EXIF Data on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows and Mac OS

What is EXIF Metadata?

EXIF stands for ‘Exchangeable Image File Format’. EXIF Metadata is additional information stored in an image file. When a picture is taken on a digital camera, important data such as exposure, date and time, aperture etc. are stored as part of the image file. In devices with Location services enabled, even the GPS coordinates may be stored. Viewing this data will help you understand how the photo was taken.

How to view EXIF Metadata?

Viewing EXIF Metadata on iOS.
  1. EXIF Viewer by Fluntro
    a. Download and install EXIF Viewer by Fluntro from the App Store.
    b. Open the app to view EXIF Metadata of photos. For more details, visit
EXIF Viewer by Fluntro iOS App

Features of EXIF by Fluntro iOS Photography App

Viewing EXIF Metadata on Mac OS.
  1. Right click the photo and select Open with Preview app.
  2. Click on Tools in the menu bar.Mac_OS_Preview_App_EXIF_Step_1
  3. Select Show Inspector.Mac_OS_Preview_App_EXIF_Step_2
  4. Click on Exif tab.Mac_OS_Preview_App_EXIF_Step_3
  5. This will show the EXIF Metadata of the photo.

Viewing EXIF Metadata on Android.
  1. Google Photos
    a) Open Google Photos (Install if needed).
    b) Open a photo.
    c) Click theicon at the top-right corner. This will give the EXIF Metadata of the photo.
  2. Photo Exif Editor.
    a) Download and Install Photo Exif Editor from Play Store.
    b) Open the app and click on ‘Photos’.
    c) Select the required photo. The EXIF Metadata of the image will be
Downloadable Tools to manage EXIF Metadata on Windows and Mac OS.
  1. ACDSee
    ACDSee is an image organizer, viewer and editor that has been developed for Windows, Mac OS and iOS. It can be used to view or edit EXIF Metadata. You can download ACDSee from
  2. Adobe Bridge
    Adobe Bridge is a free digital asset management app that works on Windows and Mac OS. It can be used to organize files, and to view or edit EXIF Metadata. Adobe Bridge can be downloaded from
  3. digiKam digiKam is a free and open-source digital photo management application that runs on Linux, Windows and Mac OS. It can be used to import, manage, edit and share photos. It allows you to search photos in the photo library by EXIF Metadata. You can download digiKam from
  4. ExifTool by Phil Harvey – ExifTool is an application to read, write and edit EXIF Metadata. It is platform-independent, and can be downloaded from
  5. FastPictureViewer – FastPictureViewer is a freemium image viewer for Windows. It can be used to view EXIF Metadata of photos. You can download FastPictureViewer from
  6. IrfanView – IrfanView is a graphic viewer for Windows. It can be used to view EXIF Metadata of photos. IrfanView can be downloaded from
  7. XnView – XnView is an image viewer, browser and editor for Windows. It can be used to view EXIF Metadata. You can download XnView from
  8. Zoner Photo Studio – Zoner Photo Studio is a photo editor developed for Windows. It can be used to view or edit EXIF Metadata. Zoner Photo Studio can be downloaded from
  9. EXIF Tool by Phil Harvey –
Browser Add-ons

You can also add Exif viewer add-ons to your browser. It’s available for Chrome from Chrome Web Store, and for Firefox from Firefox Browser Add-ons.

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How to view and modify keywords for photo on iPhone and iPad?

  1. Download the “Exif Viewer by Fluntro” App from Appstore

Appstore Link: –

Download EXIF VIEWER by FLUNTRO Appstore
Exif Viewer by Fluntro iOS Appstore screenshot
  1. After downloading and installing the app, open app and allow the app to access to your photos.
  2. Select the Desired Photo.
  1. Scroll down to keywords field to list of keywords stored in photos metadata

NOTE: Apple’s photos app now allows you for searching photos with Captions. But not keywords yet. We hope they would add this feature in future updates.

Adding/ Modifying keywords to photos on iPhone and iPad

  1. Tap on “EDIT EXIF” in exif details screen
  1. Scroll down to “Keywords” fields and add / modify your keywords by tapping on textfield
  2. Tap on “Modify” in confirmation alert view to proceed with changes

Changes made would be saved to the photo

 Highly Recommend to try out Lite (Free Trial version) first

EXIF Viewer by Fluntro Lite to view Photos resolution in EXIF Metadata before downloading Paid Full version.

Appstore link of Free Lite version :-

Appstore link of Paid Full version :-