This guide will show you how to clean meta data from your files using any Debian based Linux distro (like Raspbian or Ubuntu).
Metadata in files can reveal a lot about you. For example, most cameras automatically include time, date, location, author information and more in every photo you take. When you upload those files to a site like Facebook, all this data is automatically logged. The same is true for all sorts of other file types too.
- Youtube link
- Archive.org mirror
- Keybase mirror
We’ll be using an app called Mat, which stands for Metadata Anonymisation Toolkit. Install Mat using this command, press enter, and follow the instructions.
sudo apt-get install mat
DISPLAYING METADATA FOR A SINGLE FILE
If you want to check the metadata on a single file, simply type the following and press enter, with Example_File.jpg being the file you want to look at.
mat -d Example_File.jpg
CHECK THE CONTENTS OF A FOLDER
The -c command will tell you whether each file in a folder is clean or not. Simply change the path to whichever folder you want to check.
mat -c Example_Folder
CLEAN A SINGLE FILE
To clean a single file, simply type the following and press enter. You’ll get a confirmation if all goes well.
CLEAN THE CONTENTS OF A FOLDER
To clean the contents of an entire folder, you simply specify a folder name instead of a file, then press enter. Again, you will see confirmation if successful.
This simple method is a good way to protect your privacy, especially when uploading your files to third party services, however, it isn’t a silver bullet. There may be other unknown ways that your files are fingerprinted, so keep that in mind.