Photo Anonymizer is a new free software program for Microsoft Windows by the German software company ASCOMP Software GMBH. The free program removes traces from image files, e.g. photos or downloaded images, to improve a user’s privacy.
Photos and images may contain metadata that may reveal information that some users may not want to reveal; this may not be a problem if the photos or images are not shared, but if you upload images to websites or the Internet, it may be preferred.
Photo Anonymizer may remove the following data:
- Metadata stored by images, e.g. timestamps or information about the camera model.
- GPS information that reveal where the photo was taken.
- Alternate Data Streams that some images may include, e.g. that a file was downloaded from the Internet.
The application is compatible with all Windows client and server versions, starting with Windows XP on the client side and Windows Server 2003 on the server side. It needs to be installed, and is available with English and German interfaces. Note that it needs to be installed, and that Windows Smartscreen may block the download or the installation because it is too new.
Select the option that you want after you have started Photo Anonymizer. Each displays a drive, folder and file browser, making it easy to find and select the image files that you want processed. Only one folder can be processed at the same time.
Once you have selected files and hit next, you may check or uncheck the data that you want to remove or keep.
Most options are selected, and you may hit the “anonymize files” button to remove the data from the files, if it exists.
It is possible to keep some information, e.g. the orientation tag which applications may use to display an image or photo correctly, and the date & time of the original recording.
As far as supported metadata is concerned, EXIF, DICOM, IPTC and XMP are supported. The removal of GPS location information and Alternate Data Streams works similarly, but without the options menu. The data gets removed right away after the file selection screen.
The processing is fast and processed files will be overwritten by default. You can change that in the program preferences by enabling the save as new file name option there. It is furthermore possible to save to a new folder as well, handy for large folders with lots of files.
Photo Anonymizer is a useful program for Windows to remove metadata and other information from images and photos quickly. An option to add images to a queue would be useful, and one to run images through all three anonymization processes in one go as well.
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