Tagless is a free windows application that removes APP and COM tags from JPEG files. Tagless is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License for both non-profit and commercial use.
What are APP and COM tags?
APP and COM tags are blocks of supplemental information found in JPEG files. Neither type of these tags is required for decoding (displaying) JPEG files. In some cases, these blocks contain application specific information that is added there by photo editing programs like Photoshop. In others, the blocks are created by the camera itself during the photo shoot which contain information about the camera such as make, model, serial number, and lens or the shooting conditions such as use of flash, light levels, and time of the day.
Why should I be concerned about these tags?
Most of the information within these tags are supplemental in nature and give image editing applications cues on how to best process these images. However, there are some other tags that might have entries which might potentially expose personally identifiable information. These entries could be camera’s serial number, your name, your email address or GPS location where the picture was taken. Imagine posting a what you thought was an anonymous picture (ahem) somewhere on the internet, only to find out later that your GPS location was embedded in those pictures.
In addition, these tags increase the size of the image files, doubling it in some cases. This might be a concern to those with limited bandwidth.
How do I use it?
Simply drag and drop pictures on to the Tagless window, and the application will create a sub-folder called “tagless” within the same folder as the original picture. It will then extract APP or COM tags along with the picture into this sub-folder. The new image will be stripped of all of these supplemental tags. Tagless does not modify or alter the contents of the original images.