Anonymous camera app automatically blurs faces from protest photos

Blurring a protester’s face in a photo may protect them from harassment later. Thanks to a new iPhone app, it’s incredibly easy to do.

aptly named anonymous camera(opens in a new tab), the new camera app from Playground.AI is available for free on the App Store. It uses machine learning to automatically blur people’s faces in photos and videos you take with the app. Best of all, everything happens locally on your device; Nothing ever moves to the cloud, with App Store details on dare you try it in airplane mode.

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Faces can be blocked out with solid circles, static noise, or a blur effect. If you have an iPhone XS or better, you can block the whole body. Swipe up from the camera view to reveal options, including the ability to clear metadata from your photo or video. This would make it difficult for people to reverse engineer location or timestamp data from photos posted on social media.

Last but not least, there’s the $1.99 price point for the “Pro” version that lets you automatically remove watermarks from your photos. Pro users can choose to anonymize only parts of the screen instead of the entire screen.

This is one of the easiest ways to blur faces in conflict photos. You should at least consider doing that if you photograph protests and want to post them on social media, just to protect people from the possibility of retaliation. You never know who is viewing your posts.

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