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The application of instant messaging encrypted Signal, whose popularity has dawned in recent days because of its use in the protests of the united States, has announced a new tool that allows you to blur the faces. The function is incorporated into the latest versions for both from Android as iOS.
The users who share images via the app will now be able to blur faces so quickly that adds another layer of privacy to the images, just from the new icon of the application:
The co-founder of Signal, Moxie Marlinspike, it has submitted the update a publication of blog of the company, is linking it directly with the global protests anti-racism and the police violence caused by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Police.
“At this time, people all over the world are marching and protesting against the racism and the police brutality, outraged by the police murders of the most recent George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. On the Signal, we support the people who have taken to the streets to make their voice heard. we Believe that something in the united States you must change”, they say from the platform.
Signal that uses encryption end-to-end to make the messages more difficult to intercept, has been seen to increase your downloads in the past few days: “Many of the people and groups that are organizing for this change are using the Signal to communicate, and we’re working hard to keep up with the increased traffic. We have also been working to find additional ways to support everyone on the street at this time.”
So they claim from the company. When you do or send a photo through of Signal and select the option to ‘Blur’ in the toolbar, the app will automatically detect any face you see in your image. The system “is not perfect”, they comment from the company, so if you miss any face you can stumping manually -you can also blend anything else you want to hide, for example a tuition-.
And, as they say from Signal, “in order to maintain your privacy, the whole process happens locally in your own device.” That is to say, that the images without censorship never come out of the phone user.
As you well indicate, from The Verge, “although the blurry faces in the photographs certainly make the images to be more private, in no way is a surefire way to de-identify images and hide the identity of someone”. There are many tools to reverse methods of blur and pixelation, but in addition although tapes the face of a person there are other ways to identify you, such as your clothes or your tattoos, if any.
in Addition, even if you hide the identity of other protesters does not mean that other groups and individuals to do the same. Or that the surveillance cameras, the cameras from the police or even the press photographers are not ‘doing their job’ and capturing images.
With all this in mind, what you have to take into account are a series of tips to hide your digital identity at a protest.
June 5, 2020