On the Awareness, Control and Privacy of Shared Photo Metadata


With the continuously rising number of shared photos, metadata is also increasingly shared, possibly with a huge and potentially unseen impact on the privacy of people. Users often relinquish the control over their photos and the embedded metadata when uploading them. Our results confirm that the concept of metadata is still not commonly known and even people who know about the concept are not aware of the full extent of what is shared. In this work we present two solutions, one to raise awareness about metadata in online photos and one to offer a user-friendly way to gain control over what and how metadata is shared. We assess user interest in options ranging from deletion and modification to encryption and third party storage. We present results from a lab study (n=43n=43mathrm n=43) in which we evaluated user acceptance, feelings and usability of the proposed solutions. Many of our participants expressed the desire for user-friendly mechanisms to control the privacy of metadata. 33 % of them did not simply want to delete their metadata, but preferred to use encryption to share, but nonetheless protect, their data.

Financial Cryptography and Data Security