WhatsApp offers several options for sending files, including images and documents. To send an image via WhatsApp, users can use the ‘Attach’ button to choose from the camera or gallery. However, WhatsApp automatically compresses images when sending them, resulting in a loss of resolution.
To address this issue, WhatsApp introduced the option to send high-quality (HD) photos and documents, which retain their original resolution. The HD photo option allows users to share images without losing quality, while the document option allows for sharing files up to 2GB in original quality.
While these options prevent the platform from reducing the quality of content, they carry the risk of sharing sensitive data like location coordinates through image metadata. EXIF data stored in images can reveal information like resolution, file type, date and time taken, and more.
To avoid sharing sensitive data through image metadata, users can use third-party applications to modify or remove EXIF data. It’s also essential to be cautious when sharing images with embedded location data. If an image is shared in HD or as a document through WhatsApp, recipients can access EXIF data through applications like Google Files and display coordinates where the photo was taken. This poses potential privacy risks if shared with others.
Users should always be mindful of what information they include when sharing images through messaging platforms.