Photographers beat Facebook in court: Social media giant ordered to stop removing metadata in Germany


posted Thursday, November 24, 2016 at 7:00 AM EDT


Facebook strips metadata from photographs and images when you upload them. The popular social site has not officially commented on this, but there are some potentially good reasons for their doing so. The site is used by over a billion people per day and many of them upload photos with potentially private information, such as GPS data, tucked away in the metadata. Perhaps to protect their users' privacy, Facebook removes all the metadata.

The problem, at least for photographers, is that they might want to keep the metadata, particularly when it contains copyright information. Metadata can also be used to track down images that have been stolen. Without the metadata, it can be very difficult to find stolen images on Facebook or locate the information about the rightful owner.

Some photographers are understandably upset about how Facebook handles metadata and a German photographer, Rainer Steußloff, took to his country's courts to sue Facebook for their actions. In February, an initial ruling was made that Facebook removing metadata from images when they're uploaded violates German law. Facebook never replied to the ruling and it has now been made final.

As DIY Photography states, this doesn't mean much for Facebook users outside of Germany. However, it does perhaps mean that photographers in other countries can start taking to their respective courts with optimism.

(Seen via DIY Photography)