Reply to post: Accessing as files

iOS apps can read metadata revealing users' location histories

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Accessing as files

That assumes that iOS apps are accessing files directly when given access to photos, as opposed to get a handle to some sort of object or stream. Any iOS devs out there who can comment? Since iOS doesn't allow the end user direct filesystem access, I figure apps probably don't get it either. Thus it wouldn't be that hard for them to fix.

If Android apps are getting access to the files themselves when they access photos, this fix wouldn't be possible there. They'd need to create some sort of virtual filesystem to do this. Maybe it is possible with FUSE, though I haven't really look at its capabilities so I don't know for sure.

While I get the "if you don't want EXIF data exposed, disable it" sentiment the problem is that it is highly useful to have it for yourself. It shouldn't be a decision between giving up the convenience of having that data attached to your photos, and making it available for apps that have photo access to get it too. For instance, if you upload a photo to Facebook, it is a safe bet they're collecting the attached EXIF data for their own use of feeding their advertising monster, even though it is erased before it is posted to Facebook for the world to see. It would be an interesting experiment to start accessing FB through a VPN, upload a bunch of photos with EXIF data altered to they were taken in Switzerland in the past 48 hours, and see if I start getting shown ads for things to do in Zurich.

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