Addshore

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Tag: facebook

Cambridge Analytica, #DeleteFacebook, and adding EXIF data back to your photos

Back in 2016 I wrote a short hacky script for taking HTML from facebook data downloads and adding any data possible back to the image files that also came with the download. I created this as I wanted to grab all of my photos from Facebook and be able to upload them to Google Photos and have Google automatically slot them into the correct place in the timeline. Recent news articles about Cambridge Analytica and harvesting of Facebook data have lead to many people deciding the leave the platform, so I decided to check back with my previous script and see if it still worked, and make it a little easier to use.

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Add Exif data back to Facebook images

Update: I touched this script again in March 2018 moving it to Github, updating it and adding Docker support.

I start this post not by talking about Facebook, but about Google Photos. Google now offers unlimited ‘high resolution’ images within its service where high resolution is defined as 16MP for an image and 1080p for video. Of course there is some compression here that some may argue against but photos and video can also be uploaded at original quality (exactly as captured) and the cost of space for these files is very reasonable. So, It looks like I have found a new home for my piles of photos and videos that I want to be able to look back at in 20 years!

Prior to Google Photos developments I stored a reasonable number of images on Facebook, and now I want to also add them all to Google Photos, but that is not as easy as I first thought. All of your Facebook data can easily be downloaded which includes all of your images and videos, but not exactly as they were when you uploaded them, as they have all of the exif data such as location and time stripped. This data is actually available in a html file which is served with each Facebook album. So, I wrote a terribly hacky script in PHP for Windows to extract that data and re add it to the files so that they can be bulk uploaded to Google Photos and take advantage of the timeline and location features.

The code can be found below (it looks horrible but works…)

I would rewrite it but I have no need to (as it works). But when searching online for some code to do just this I came up short and thus thought I would post the rough idea and process for others to find, and perhaps improve on.

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