A new iOS app called Anonymous camera promises to be the most comprehensive solution for journalists and citizen photographers who want to capture photos and videos without revealing the identity of their subject.
The app was created by a London based company called AI playground, and he was not really inspired by the recent BLM protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd. Anonymous Camera was designed for investigative journalists, in particular, it was inspired by journalists working on reports on the persecution of LGBT people in the United Arab Emirates.
The idea was to create an app that could use AI to automatically and instantly blur faces or even whole bodies, distort voices, and remove metadata for photo and video recording. All processing takes place on the device, eliminating the need to send photos to an external server or keep photos unaltered long enough to manipulate them in Photoshop. If your phone gets confiscated along the way, you’ve just burned your source.
You can see some sample apps used below, both published by The edge great reporter James Vincent:
The app is still a bit problematic, but it has the most comprehensive anonymization features I’ve seen, including voice distortion and metadata removal. Importantly, it does everything in real time on the device, which means no unedited footage is captured. pic.twitter.com/Tu6WD71XJ9
– James Vincent (@jjvincent) June 11, 2020
The app’s official debut couldn’t come at a more appropriate time, as photographers and citizen journalists question whether people should blur faces and remove metadata from their protest photos. And while the anonymous camera wasn’t designed to capture crowds – it’s really meant to be used with just a few subjects in the frame – the creators are working hard to improve AI for this purpose.
In the meantime, they hope Anonymous Camera will be a useful tool for investigative journalists and concerned citizens, even with its large group limitations.
To learn more about the app or try it out for yourself, go to the iOS app store. The app is free to download and use, and costs $ 2 if you want to remove the AC watermark from the video recording. If you choose to upgrade, Playground says all profits for next month will go to nonprofits. Black Visions Collective and Unicorn riot.
(Going through The edge)