WhatsApp offers a variety of options for sending files through its platform. These include sending files from the gallery, high-definition (HD) images, and attached documents. The latter two options are useful for sharing files in their original quality and for sharing sensitive information, such as 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 introduced the option to send HD photos, which allows users to send images without losing resolution. Additionally, there is an option to send images as documents, which enables users to share files up to 2GB and original quality photos and videos.
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. Furthermore, users should 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. Recipients can access this information through applications like Google Files, which can display the coordinates of where the photo was taken. This poses potential privacy risks if shared with others.
It’s crucial for users to be mindful of what they share through messaging platforms and take steps to protect their privacy when using these features on WhatsApp or other messaging apps.