The Truepic technology and joint venture with QUALCOMM may give you the exact time and location of a photo or video taken from your phone

You may have come across people or independent artists making claims against some social media influencer for using up their pictures without giving due credit. You may also have come across a piece of news on TV telling you about a natural disaster that happened somewhere, but the images and videos they show are not from the actual site, rather they are ‘stolen’ from someone else or are being re-used.

To make this whole process of taking photos and making videos from your smartphones is going to become more transparent now. Truepic, a prototype camera app, has been developed with a photo-tagging technology in a joint venture with Qualcomm, the mobile chipmakers. This code will be present in your device’s processor in a secure area that handles sensitive tasks like fingerprint scanning and payment processes. When you want to take a picture, all you need to do is to switch to the mobile’s secure mode, and the pixels will bypass your device’s operating system and will securely tag your photo or video with the time that it was captured, and its location.

This way, if someone tries to steal your photos or re-use your videos, you can make claims with proper evidence. Also, the photos that will be clicked through this system will help you prove that they were original and not hampered by photo editing tools or any other AI technology.

Twitter, Adobe, and The New York Times are developing a system for transparent digital photography, and videography called the ‘Content Authenticity Initiative.’ The Truepic technology will work in conjunction with this system to automatically tag and cryptographically encode the information of the’ how and where’ of the picture or video. Because of this cryptographic encoding, no one else will be able to edit the pics without leaving a trace.

Adobe says that it will incorporate this technology into its Photoshop, and The New York Times plans to use it for the benefit of photojournalists and media editors.

Qualcomm makes chips for many Android devices including Samsung’s, so this technology can be incorporated in the upcoming models too. It is not known when it will be available though. Probably after the developers work to remove some errors that are quite a handicap for the system. For one thing, the user must have an internet connection to tag the photos and videos and for the whole technology to work. Also, the location tag may not be as accurate as we would like it to be. There can be a discrepancy of a few meters here and there. The tags that will be created by this system will go to software that supports the CAI scheme. The fine details and other work regarding this entire project are still in the development phase.


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