Photo anonymization – what is it and when is it done?

galio spons1

In today’s world, threats associated with privacy breaches are common and affect an increasing number of people. Over the last decade, digital technologies and the internet have contributed to a significant increase in the amount of personal data publicly available, almost at our fingertips. One practice that helps protect privacy and prevent unauthorized disclosure of data is anonymization of photos. In this article, we will examine what photo anonymization is, what its goals are, and in what situations it is used. We will also learn about different anonymization techniques and discuss some of the challenges associated with this practice.

What is image anonymization? In what situations is it worth considering?

Photo anonymization involves removing, blurring, or distorting part or all of the identifying information of the person in the photograph. As a result, the person becomes unrecognizable or at least more difficult to identify. The goal of anonymization is to ensure privacy and protect personal data, especially in situations where photos relate to sensitive areas such as medicine, violence, identification, and others. Photo anonymization is used in many fields such as healthcare, scientific research, marketing, social media, copyright law, and many others.

It is important to use the most effective and simplest methods of photo anonymization possible. In order to blur faces, one can apply pixelation filters that shade faces but flicker during photo browsing. Another way is to replace faces with additional objects such as clown faces, bananas, balloons, or change the colors of the face to shades that do not allow for identification. Additionally, it is advisable to avoid publishing photos in their full dimensions, i.e., in the maximum size that allows for easy distinguishing of details and faces.

What are the benefits of online image anonymization?

Online photo anonymization is a process based on removing metadata from photographs. Such photos are devoid of user-identifying information, making them an excellent privacy protection tool. One of the most significant advantages of online photo anonymization is that it allows for safe and anonymous sharing of information without revealing the user’s identity. This is the perfect solution for people who want to share photos with others while maintaining their privacy. Online photo anonymization also provides privacy protection when using social media. Photos added to platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter are typically tagged with metadata that allows for their precise identification, for example in search engines. Online photo anonymization allows this information to be removed to maintain anonymity on these platforms.

Another advantage of online photo anonymization is that photos without metadata take up less space on devices and in the cloud. This allows users to have more space to store their photos and makes it easier for them to manage their collections.


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