Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Signal Launches Face-Blurring Tool as US Protesters Embrace Encrypted Messaging

Law enforcement officials across the U.S. have already revealed that they will leverage facial recognition technology to retroactively target protesters following the killing of George Floyd, with police asking the public for footage and photos. Against this backdrop, Signal is introducing a new feature that can automatically obfuscate faces shared within the encrypted messaging app, as the company says it’s “working hard to keep up with the increased traffic” from protesters.

According to a report from Signal:

Moving forward, Signal users will be able to activate a feature in the main photo editing toolbox that will automatically blur all faces it identifies in an image. As with many automated computer vision tools, Signal doesn’t claim that its face-blurring smarts are 100% effective. It may not identify all faces in a photo, which is why users can manually obscure faces by drawing the blur brush across each face with their finger.

Categories: Online Privacy & Security, Telephone Security

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