Protection of privacy: Signal offers a tool to blur faces

To protect the privacy of users but also of people who can be photographed on the street, the Signal messaging application offers a blurring of faces function. It’s automatic, and everything happens on the smartphone.

“  2020 is a very good year to cover your face.  It is through this punchline that the Signal editor announces that it now offers a blurring function for faces. A competitor to Telegram  or Whatsapp, this encrypted messaging application has seen its number of downloads explode since the start of demonstrations in the United States against police violence.

Users know that their exchanges are protected and encrypted from start to finish, and to go further, Signal has therefore chosen to strengthen their privacy by offering the possibility of blurring faces when they exchange photos. In the toolbar, there is a new “  Blur faces  ” icon and by pressing it, the application blurs all the faces present on the image. And if the automatic operation is imperfect, it is possible to blur the face (s) manually.

Blurring is done on the smartphone, not on servers

Signal specifies that this blurring operation is performed on the smartphone and that no data is sent to servers. In addition, this tool can also be used to blur other areas of the photo, such as an address or a license plate.

By this tool, available on iOS and Android, Signal would also target journalists and other launchers alert sharing videos and photos of events or public scenes without blur faces, exposing people to possible prosecution or pressures. We also think of teachers who, since confinement, exchange photos with parents and the blurring of children’s faces is also important.