Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

April 29, 2021

Using Photo Ninja to shield users’ photos from reverse image searches and facial recognition AI

Filed under: Interesting Sites,My Thoughts — Suramya @ 1:15 AM

Last year I had posted about the Fawkes project that allowed users to modify their photos to avoid them from being used to power facial recognition and image recognition technologies. But the problem with these technologies is that it requires you to setup a server/run it on your machine which is hard for regular folks to do and that reduces the usage of the tool, even though it is very useful.

Now, a company called DoNotPay is launching a new service called Photo Ninja that allows you to upload a photo you want to shield and the software adds a layer of pixel-level changes that are barely noticeable to humans, but dramatically alter the image in the eyes of roving machines making it harder for someone to perform a reverse search on and to use for training AI models.

This is a great start and makes it really easy for people to use the service which costs $36 a year.

“Photo Ninja uses a novel series of steganography, detection perturbation, visible overlay, and several other AI-based enhancement processes to shield your images from reverse image searches without compromising the look of your photo,” says the company.

AI systems are trained to analyze pictures by looking at the pixel-level data, and adversarial examples can trick them by changing the pixel colors in a subtle enough way that the human eye doesn’t notice anything different but a computer fails to categorize the image as it usually would or interprets it as a wholly different image.

Anti-creep software — There are various reasons why you might want to use Photo Ninja. Before joining a dating service like Bumble, you could run your pictures through Photo Ninja so that weirdos can’t upload them to Google’s reverse image search and find your social media profiles without getting your consent, for instance.

I wonder if there is a demand for a similar service that could be powered with Fawkes and be provided for free to all users. I am thinking about setting something up like a Bot or a site that does this for free. I think there is a market for it and it would be a great side project for me to work on during this lockdown.

What do you think?

– Suramya

1 Comment »

  1. […] I wrote about Fawkes & Photo Ninja which can be used to protect your photos from facial recognition models and reverse image searches. […]

    Pingback by Review and test of Fawkes: Software to protect your pictures from AI/Reverse searches. « Suramya's Blog — April 30, 2021 @ 11:29 PM

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