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.

Sign up to our free newsletter.
Security news, advice, and tips.

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.

Found this article interesting? Follow Graham Cluley on Twitter, Mastodon, or Threads to read more of the exclusive content we post.

Graham Cluley is a veteran of the cybersecurity industry, having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. 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…

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.