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Brief Published: 2 Jul 2020

New Image Anonymity App Provides Real-Time Privacy


New app Anonymous Camera offers real-time anonymisation for videos and pictures, helping to protect people’s privacy on the go. As many Big Tech brands are scaling back their facial recognition technology amid the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests, this new technology will help individuals protect their fellow citizens’ identities.

The app uses machine learning to identify people within images and offers a range of options to obscure their distinctive features, such as blurring, pixelating or blocking. As recent reports demonstrate how police services are tracking BLM protestors captured on film through identifying markers such as tattoos and clothing, an option to fully block out all features is an important asset. 

The June-launched app can also be used to manipulate voices on film and scrub metadata from files. As time and even location data can be collected from media files posted online or retrieved from a device, the app offers a further level of privacy to empower individuals to post their footage with less potential for repercussions.

Anonymous Camera uses artificial intelligence (AI) to process these amendments in real time, so that images and videos remain in their original state very briefly. This means that even if the camera or phone is lost or confiscated at a later date, the media is censored automatically, further protecting subjects in image files.

The app was developed by London-based AI start-up Playground as a solution for investigative journalists to safely capture anonymous footage. While it’s free to download, the proceeds from the upgrade option – $1.99/month for watermark-free videos – are being donated to US-based non-profits Black Visions Collective and Unicorn Riot in solidarity with the BLM movement.

Brands should take the lead from Playground and explore ways to help consumers boost their digital privacy by avoiding facial recognition, instead of focusing on the amusement appeal of the technology seen in social media filters. See Web 3.0 and Safeguarding Security for more on consumer demand for greater privacy and security online.