PetaPixel

The Use of EXIF Data in Digital Photos as Courtroom Evidence

Donalee Moulton over at The Lawyers Weekly has an article describing how EXIF data is beginning to be accepted as valuable evidence in courtrooms — at least in Canada:

Traditionally, a photograph was a picture of one point in time. It could only tell what someone was doing, or not doing, at a particular moment on a particular day. What came before or after was unknown. This uncertainty meant that even what appeared to be a damning image had little value as a piece of evidence because there was no context [...]

Digital photography does not pose the same problem. In some cases, the metadata are enough to counter the snapshot argument by demonstrating that an activity was performed repeatedly or for a lengthy period [...]

Apparently judges are considering EXIF data to be relevant in personal injury lawsuits, in which photos could “prove” that the plaintiff isn’t too injured or depressed to function properly. Hopefully the courts are aware of how easily EXIF data can be faked.

Smile, You’re on Metadata [The Lawyers Weekly]


Thanks for sending in the tip, Phil!


Image credit: More Exif Info configuration by mortimer?, Courtroom One Gavel by Joe Gratz


 
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  • fuzzywuzzy

    “Hopefully the courts are aware of how easily EXIF data can be faked.”

    I doubt it. The law is hilariously obtuse when it comes to technology.

  • The_photographer_Tom

    @fuzzywuzzy That’s right. Only today I was altering the EXIF data on files that I took over the weekend with my 5d MKII to include copyright data, geotagging info and keywords. I could easily habe changed the “time taken” if I’d wanted to. The software is free and easy to use. It’s available from http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

  • The_photographer_Tom

    @fuzzywuzzy That’s right. Only today I was altering the EXIF data on files that I took over the weekend with my 5d MKII to include copyright data, geotagging info and keywords. I could easily have changed the “time taken” if I’d wanted to. The software is free and easy to use. It’s available from http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

  • The_photographer_Tom

    @fuzzywuzzy That’s right. Only today I was altering the EXIF data on files that I took over the weekend with my 5d MKII to include copyright data, geotagging info and keywords. I could easily have changed the “time taken” if I’d wanted to. The software is free and easy to use. It’s available from http://owl.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/