Huawei learns photo meta-data can bite you in the bum

Smartphone manufacturer makes a meta-data muckup.

Huawei 600

Huawei would like you to buy its P9 Android smartphone.

As part of its marketing campaign for the P9, the Chinese electronics giant uploaded a photograph supposedly to its Google+ page.

In the (now-deleted) Google+ post, Huawaei appeared to be suggesting that the photograph of an attractive woman caught in the morning sunlight was taken with its new smartphone.

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Fortunately, AndroidPolice preserved a copy of the post for posterity:

We managed to catch a beautiful sunrise with Deliciously Ella. The #HuaweiP9’s dual Leica cameras makes taking photos in low light conditions like this a pleasure. Reinvent smartphone photography and share your sunrise pictures with us. #OO

Yes, I was surprised too. Who would have thought anyone was still using Google+?

But there was another shock to come. Because, Google+ preserves the EXIF meta data of uploaded pictures rather than automatically zapping it, and this revealed that the photograph wasn’t taken by a Huawei P9 smartphone.

Instead, it seems the photo was taken by a Canon 5D Mk. III with a rather tasty lens. Total cost? $4500.

Huawei pic


Maybe it was all an innocent mistake, rather than a deliberate attempt to deceive consumers. I certainly hope so.

But it’s a useful reminder for everyone who shares their photos online, to consider erasing any meta-data contained within – just in case it might come back to bite you in the bum.

Don’t believe this is a problem? Just ask John McAfee.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

2 comments on “Huawei learns photo meta-data can bite you in the bum”

  1. J.bourne

    Need to learn to read the blurb and realise that anything posted by a corporation is an advert "taking photos in low light conditions like this a pleasure."

  2. Simon

    No surprises really, but shows how lazy some marketing camps have become…

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