New anonymization solution from D-ID blocks facial biometrics with fake faces

D-ID has introduced a new Smart Anonymization offering to remove facial features used for biometrics as well as other personally identifiable information (PII) from video and still images, according to a company announcement.

In addition to blocking facial recognition, Smart Anonymization also replaces license plates with computer-generated data. The software is easy to deploy and immediately ensures privacy compliance, the company says.

Video content accounted for 79 percent of internet traffic in 2018, D-ID says, and each day 300 million photos are shared on Facebook and another 95 million on Instagram. This volume of material, along with additional visual content collected by smart city and retail applications, autonomous vehicles and other sources, cannot be commercialized without violating privacy regulations, the company argues, unless personal information is stripped from it.

D-ID’s Smart Anonymization does this, without processing or profiling people in captured images, and replaces images with photorealistic faces of nonexistent people generated by artificial intelligence. This marks an improvement, according to the announcement, over legacy solutions using blurring or pixelization. Key non-PII data, such as demographics, expression, and gaze direction are preserved, allowing analytics collection while preserving compliance.

“Privacy regulations like GDPR were put in place to give people power over their personal data, not to prevent companies from reaping the rewards that analyzing big data can offer,” said Gil Perry, co-founder and CEO of D-ID. “Our Smart Anonymization solution fulfills that vision by allowing privacy and visual data commercialization to co-exist.”

D-ID’s advisory board was recently joined by renowned privacy expert and Privacy by Design framework creator Dr. Ann Cavoukian.

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