WhatsApp offers a variety of options for sending files, including choosing from the gallery, HD images, and attached documents. These options allow users to send files in their original quality and share sensitive information like location coordinates.
The most common way to send an image via WhatsApp is through the ‘Attach’ button, which allows users to choose content from the camera or gallery. However, WhatsApp automatically compresses images when sending them, resulting in a loss of resolution.
To address this issue, WhatsApp launched two options: sending high-quality (HD) photos and sharing images as documents. HD photos preserve the resolution of the image while allowing users to share up to 2GB of files. Documents also allow for sharing original quality photos and videos without reducing their quality.
While these options prevent the platform from reducing the quality of the content, they carry the risk of sharing sensitive data through image metadata. The EXIF data stored in images can reveal information like the resolution, file type, date and time the photo was taken, and more.
To avoid sharing this information, users can use third-party applications to modify or remove EXIF data. Additionally, it’s crucial to be cautious about sharing images with embedded location data. If an image is shared in HD or as a document through WhatsApp, the EXIF data is retained and can be accessed through applications like Google Files that display where the photo was taken.
Users should always be mindful of what information they are including when sharing images through messaging platforms. It’s essential to take steps to protect personal privacy by removing or modifying any sensitive data before sharing it online.