You may have heard that the latest Harry Potter book has appeared in digital form before its release, people have published digital photographs of the books pages.
Now The Times reports that the camera owner may be identifiable thorugh the pictures EXIF data:
“By examining the vital information – or ‘metadata’ – built into each photo, the company’s technical officers have established the serial number of the camera that was used, which could in turn lead to the identity of the camera’s owner.
The information, known as Exchangeable Image File Format (Exif) data, has already revealed that the camera used was a Canon Rebel 350. Because the model is three years old, the device would likely have been serviced at least once since it was purchased, in which case the owner’s name would be known.
The serial number itself would not necessarily give away the name of the owner, Canon said, as it can only match serial numbers with owners if the purchaser registers the device after buying it. Every time a Canon camera is serviced, however, the serial number and owner are logged together. “
Spooky. But it goes on:
“”The Exif data is like the picture’s DNA; you can’t switch it off. Every image has it. Some software can be used to strip or edit the information, but you can’t edit every field,” Mr Solomon said.”
You can’t? I bet you can…
After the fuss around user data stored in iTunes songs, will we see EXIF cleaners next?