Facial recognition-blocking company D-ID launches product and announces initial customers

D-ID announced its initial product launch, as well as the first customers for its facial recognition-blocking technology at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco.

While D-ID has received interest in a consumer app, it will offer its image manipulation, for which the company charges anywhere from a few cents to $3, to organizations instead. The company sees potential markets in business that want to protect images of customers or employees, health management organizations, and government and security agencies responsible for securing biometric data.

“We have moved too fast with face recognition, which is now a threat to privacy,” D-ID CEO officer Gil Perry says. He also said that awareness and concern has grown, and that he wants to make technology responsive to people’s concerns, rather than stop the use of facial recognition.

D-ID’s software adds a layer of distortion or abstraction to the image captured, before it is locally stored. A distorted image taken can be taken and used on an iPhone to unlock it.

“When we saw that this [facial recognition technology] was going to be the end of privacy as people know it. We took on this mission we were determined to solve privacy,” says Perry. “To solve the right to privacy and prevent it from disappearing. To make a solution that would be available to everyone before it’s too late.”

Perry estimates that 360,000 companies around the world have about 22 billion media files, and says recent regulatory changes like the launch of GDPR are driving interest in the company’s software. D-ID’s initial customers include an auto manufacturer, a financial services firm, and a large printing company.

D-ID raised $4 million in seed financing earlier this year.

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