@Thanatomanic, I think it does, in the following context: image data has certain fundamental characteristics, knowledge of which are critical to its interpretation. For instance, a program can’t make fundamental sense of a glob of memory storing an image without the numbers width and height: without that, it’s just a long list of bytes. bit-depth and number of channels are also important in that same way.
To my thinking, same thing applies to color primaries and white point. Whether anyone likes it or not, every digital image being passed around or processed or captured or displayed corresponds to a specific color space, anchored by a white point. That starts with the camera profile, assigned to the camera image by whatever processor is going to make it pretty, and stays with the data array until a specific conversion takes place to some other color space. Then, the data corresponds to a new color space, and those primaries and white point need to follow the data around to the next conversion.
There are some metadata conventions that try to shortcut that information passing, such as DCF tags. If you find an EXIF::ColorSpace tag in a file, it’ll say something like ‘sRGB’. Well and good, no? Probably not, as there are a lot of notions floating around about what specifically is sRGB. @elle has a good article on all that:
To my skeptical thinking, at least the 3x3 matrix of color primaries, and the triple that specifies the white point, are the fundamental definitive specification of color space. And that metadata needs to follow the image, from creation to depiction.