WhatsApp offers a range of options for sending files, including sending images from the gallery, HD images, and attached documents. The latter two options are particularly useful for sharing high-quality images with sensitive information, such as location coordinates.
The most common way to send an image on WhatsApp is by clicking the ‘Attach’ button and selecting content from the camera or gallery. However, WhatsApp automatically compresses images when sending them, resulting in a loss of resolution. To address this issue, WhatsApp introduced the option to send high-quality (HD) photos and documents, which allows users to share images without losing resolution.
While these options prevent the platform from reducing the quality of content, they come with the risk of sharing sensitive data through image metadata. EXIF data stored in images can reveal information like resolution, file type, date and time the photo was taken, and more. To avoid sharing this information, users can use third-party applications to modify or remove EXIF data. It’s important to be cautious when sharing images with embedded location data through messaging platforms.
If an image is shared in HD or as a document on WhatsApp, the EXIF data is retained. Recipients can access this information through applications like Google Files by viewing the coordinates of where the photo was taken. This poses potential privacy risks if shared with others.
To avoid sharing location data with photos shared on WhatsApp or any other messaging platform, it’s crucial to be mindful of what information is included in each image before sharing it. Users should also consider using third-party applications that allow them to modify and remove EXIF data before sharing any sensitive information via messaging platforms.