A Google Tool That Blurs Videos Is Getting Open Source
(CTN News) – The Google company announced at the end of the year that two of its latest privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs), including one that blurs objects in a video, will be freely available to anyone as open source code.
As part of the company’s Protected Computing initiative, the updated tools are part of the company’s effort to transform “how, when and where data is processed to ensure its privacy and safety on a technical basis”, according to a statement from Google.
One of the projects is an internal tool called Magritte.
This tool has been released on Github and uses machine learning to detect objects and blur them on the screen as soon as they appear on the screen.
A wide variety of objects can be made to appear as if they were hidden, such as license plates, tattoos, etc. According to Google’s blog post, “this code is especially useful for video journalists who want to be able to provide increased privacy assurances to their audiences.”
As a result of the open-source code, videographers can reduce the time it takes to blur objects in a video while knowing that a deep learning algorithm will be able to accurately detect objects across a video.
The other with the unwieldy name “Fully Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) Transpiler“, allows developers to perform computations on encrypted data without having access to personally identifiable information.
“Where robust security guarantees around the processing of sensitive data are of the utmost importance,” Google says, it can help industries like financial services, healthcare and government.”
According to Google, PETs have entered the mainstream in recent years after primarily being used in academic research.
In a recent White House announcement, the White House said that the technology would allow researchers, physicians, and other individuals permitted to access sensitive data to gain insights without ever having to see the data.
It has been noted by Google that both the UK and US governments are holding a competition this year in order to develop PET solutions to address financial crime and public health emergencies.
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