A handy tool to trash your metadata
_____ _____ _____ ___ | | _ |_ _|_ | Keep your data, | | | | | | | | _| trash your meta! |_|_|_|__|__| |_| |___|
Metadata and privacy
Metadata consist of information that characterizes data. Metadata are used to provide documentation for data products. In essence, metadata answer who, what, when, where, why, and how about every facet of the data that are being documented.
Metadata within a file can tell a lot about you. Cameras record data about when a picture was taken and what camera was used. Office documents like PDF or Office automatically adds author and company information to documents and spreadsheets. Maybe you don't want to disclose those information.
This is precisely the job of mat2: getting rid, as much as possible, of metadata.
mat2 provides a command line tool, and graphical user interfaces via a service menu for Dolphin, the default file manager of KDE, and an extension for Nautilus, the default file manager of GNOME.
python3-mutagenfor audio support
gir1.2-poppler-0.18for PDF support
gir1.2-gdkpixbuf-2.0for images support
gir1.2-rsvg-2.0for svg support
FFmpeg, optionally, for video support
libimage-exiftool-perlfor everything else
bubblewrap, optionally, for sandboxing
Please note that mat2 requires at least Python3.5.
Requirements setup on macOS (OS X) using Homebrew
brew install exiftool cairo pygobject3 poppler gdk-pixbuf librsvg ffmpeg
Running the test suite
$ python3 -m unittest discover -v
And if you want to see the coverage:
$ python3-coverage run --branch -m unittest discover -s tests/ $ python3-coverage report --include -m --include /libmat2/*'
How to use mat2
usage: mat2 [-h] [-V] [--unknown-members policy] [--inplace] [--no-sandbox] [-v] [-l] [--check-dependencies] [-L | -s] [files [files ...]] Metadata anonymisation toolkit 2 positional arguments: files the files to process optional arguments: -h, --help show this help message and exit -V, --verbose show more verbose status information --unknown-members policy how to handle unknown members of archive-style files (policy should be one of: abort, omit, keep) [Default: abort] --inplace clean in place, without backup --no-sandbox Disable bubblewrap's sandboxing -v, --version show program's version number and exit -l, --list list all supported fileformats --check-dependencies check if mat2 has all the dependencies it needs -L, --lightweight remove SOME metadata -s, --show list harmful metadata detectable by mat2 without removing them
Note that mat2 will not clean files in-place, but will produce, for example, with a file named "myfile.png" a cleaned version named "myfile.cleaned.png".
It's possible to run mat2 as a web service, via mat2-web.
For GNU/Linux desktops, it's possible to use the Metadata Cleaner GTK application.
The following formats are supported: avi, bmp, css, epub/ncx, flac, gif, jpeg, m4a/mp2/mp3/…, mp4, odc/odf/odg/odi/odp/ods/odt/…, off/opus/oga/spx/…, pdf, png, ppm, pptx/xlsx/docx/…, svg/svgz/…, tar/tar.gz/tar.bz2/tar.xz/…, tiff, torrent, wav, wmv, zip, …
Notes about detecting metadata
While mat2 is doing its very best to display metadata when the
--show flag is
passed, it doesn't mean that a file is clean from any metadata if mat2 doesn't
show any. There is no reliable way to detect every single possible metadata for
complex file formats.
This is why you shouldn't rely on metadata's presence to decide if your file must be cleaned or not.
Notes about the lightweight mode
By default, mat2 might alter a bit the data of your files, in order to remove
as much metadata as possible. For example, texts in PDF might not be selectable anymore,
compressed images might get compressed again, …
Since some users might be willing to trade some metadata's presence in exchange
of the guarantee that mat2 won't modify the data of their files, there is the
-L flag that precisely does that.
- The first iteration of MAT
- pdf-redact-tools, that tries to deal with printer dots too.
- pdfparanoia, that removes watermarks from PDF.
- Scrambled Exif, an open-source Android application to remove metadata from pictures.
- Dangerzone, designed to sanitize harmful documents into harmless ones.
If possible, use the issues system
or the mailing list
Should a more private contact be needed (eg. for reporting security issues),
you can email Julien (jvoisin) Voisin at
using the gpg key
If you want to donate some money, please give it to Tails.
This program is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.
This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.
You should have received a copy of the GNU Lesser General Public License along with this program. If not, see http://www.gnu.org/licenses/.
Copyright 2018 Julien (jvoisin) Voisin firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright 2016 Marie-Rose for mat2's logo
tests/data/dirty_with_nsid.docx file is licensed under GPLv3,
and was borrowed from the Calibre project: https://calibre-ebook.com/downloads/demos/demo.docx
narrated_powerpoint_presentation.pptx file is in the public domain.
mat2 wouldn't exist without:
Many thanks to them!
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