Image privacy concerns has been looming large and the methods to counter the same have not been as effective as expected. Exif is a new tool that promises to save content owners from image thefts. It adapts the same sharing behavior as YouTube and Vimeo. That being said the tool has nothing to do with EXIF, which is actually a file extension that stands for Exchangeable Image File.
If you are a photographer you are familiar with the perils of your photo being used without a credit. It is, for this reason, most of the photographers use watermarks but that doesn’t mitigate the image theft risk in entirety. In all likelihood, the original photographer or content creator might loose out to revenue from his photographs along with the recognition that comes with it.
In order to use the Exif, one needs to upload their photo with Exif and it automatically generates HTML-based embed codes that can be used by the websites. Usually, most of the websites download the image and upload the same on their CMS and it is during this upload process that the pictures might be stripped of its metadata and also remove important information.
The Exif also means that the websites can save on their hosting space and also don’t have to worry about giving credits separately as Exif already has that feature baked in. The pictures will come with a small “i” icon clicking on which will show the photographers/content creators details including name and maybe their contact details as well. Photographers can also use the dashboard tool to track the views on the photograph and block certain sites from using their photos. It’s amazing how Exif works on the images without actually ruining the image.
I personally tried out the tool and the results were surprising. No matter what I do, the image is blocked from being downloaded. Heck, even if one presses the Command/Ctrl button (Screenshots) the forced watermark appears. The only downside I see as of now is the pricing strategy the Exif charges based on the views and this can be quite a bummer. I just wish it had an outright purchase thing wherein you could just pay a subscriber’s fee and upload “n” number of protected images. If you are curious try downloading the first picture of this story and see if you can do so without the watermark playing the good cop!