Tuesday, March 12, 2013
As visitors to the PhotoMetadata website know, digital camera files contain more information than just a stream of pixels. Even basic photo editing software, like those covered in the site's Meta Tutorials, allows photographers to embed rights-based information (like a Copyright Notice) and other descriptive information. However, you wouldn't know that from looking at pictures on many social media sites or after downloading them from photo sharing sites. According to a new study just released by the International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC), major social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Flickr remove copyright information and other useful embedded data from pictures posted by their users.
"A social networking site is only as good as the information its members choose to share. If users provide rights data and descriptions within their images, these data shouldn't be removed without their knowledge", said Michael Steidl, Managing Director of the IPTC, a consortium of the world's major news agencies, news publishers and news industry vendors.
Every day, more and more photos are shared over social media. IPTC was approached by users who discovered that when they shared photos, their embedded metadata disappeared. Earlier this month, the IPTC Photo Metadata Working Group tested 15 social media sites to understand how image sharing, through upload and download, affects the integrity of embedded metadata as defined by IPTC standards and the Exif standard. The results of these tests can be seen at www.embeddedmetadata.org/testresults
The full news release about the Social Media Study is available from the IPTC website.