For years, Adobe's mission with its famous Photoshop software has been to allow anyone to create digitally manipulated images with ease and professionalism. However, realizing that such activity can be used for evil purposes, the company itself is now promoting an initiative with the objective of stopping the spread of distorted or shared photographs outside the original context.
- Follow these tips to find out if a photo is fake
- Instagram hides photoshopped photo and raises doubts with fake news filter
- Adobe launches Photoshop Camera, AI app that edits photos on the fly
Named Content Authenticity Initiative or CAI, the movement proposes to embed, directly in the “strangers” of a photo, a series of metadata protected with encryption. This includes the name of the photographer, when the photo was taken, the exact location of the portrait and even the name of all the people who did any editing on that document.
Because of this, the next versions of Photoshop will be integrated with this system, adding any and all modifications to an image – including a simple color correction – in a continuous log and highly protected against possible forgery. It is worth remembering that, today, EXIF metadata (created automatically by digital cameras) can be easily deleted with the help of specific solutions.
Obviously, for CAI to have the proposed effect, it will be necessary for various areas of the industry to adopt the standard widely – which includes manufacturers of photographic devices, developers of editing software and even social networks and media outlets, which may incorporate algorithms to automatically detect whether that alleged photo of a recent protest was recorded years ago.
There are also some loopholes that Adobe and its partners (the initiative has the support of Twitter, the BBC and The New York Times) will have to worry about, such as the possibility of a fraudster simply taking a screenshot to create a copy from the original image or even take a picture of your own computer screen to replicate a portrait with metadata. In any case, the campaign is valid, being somewhat interesting to observe its development.