"Agora presents an interesting case: from the archive’s beginning on January 1, 2014 through March 18 of that year, we identified 963 non-unique tagged images — the most of any market in the study. However, after March 18 we found zero images with location data through the end of the archive. The sudden cut off from what was previously a plentiful source of images suggests that the site’s administrators may have discovered this geotag vulnerability and instituted some form of metadata removal after this date."
Overall, the researchers blame dark web sellers for their own stupidity in uploading images without removing their EXIF information first. They also think underground marketplaces are responsible for a "significant security oversight" in not following Facebook's lead and simply refusing to display images' EXIF location.
Lack of concern over users' anonymity has unraveled many underground markets in the past. In 2015, for instance, authorities arrested several individuals who administered Playpen, an underground child pornography website which failed to properly set up a Tor-based server. That takedown continues to influence law enforcement's relationship to the digital world even today.
Going forward, the duo thinks other research teams could study the viability of creating a tool that identifies geotags in dark web listings.