What Was Blur.SBS?
Blur.SBS was a project I built out of a Github project called Deface that blurred the face in your videos and photos. This project was never truly meant to take off although it covered small niche in the news and movie industry. It’s intent was to essentially test to see if anyone cared about their privacy in a world yet unknown to most. It is not currently readily available to the general population and still requires a presumably pretty hefty computer ($7,500-$25,000) to achieve it in a reasonable time frame. That is, without spending weeks or months on building the machine learning models. Often times you can use pre-existing models that are shared with the internet community to speed this up, but not everyone is given this luxury. It has to start somewhere.
The point of this article is to inform you why posting your photos online is not safe anymore. This sounds extremist and for most people this is not even a concern at all, but anyone can become famous in todays age.
Let me give you an example. A kid, say 16, posts on TikTok regularly and went viral. Viral means one of his videos really took off and garnered a lot of attention. He was kind of a #$@& talker and angered someone that had a lot of money, even a kid of an engineer at say Facebook. Using tools readily available to them and the compute power they have in their own home they render images of their mom with their ex boyfriend, even though she is now married. I’m probably going into too much detail, but this creates hate and dissent in the family out of spite for their previous actions.
A more likely reason though, would be someone doing it to a celebrity to spread lies and fake news to defame them, even for a profit.
All of this requires photos online to be capable, and to have faces visible. Blurring your face for you and your kids, or better yet replacing them with emoji faces so people can still see their expression, prevents anyone from stealing your digital “soul.”
Visit the link below to learn more.
Social Media Privacy
Privacy online is extremely important and it seems that most people do lock down their profiles from harassment from scammers and fake accounts, but they often neglect the most important privacy setting: the one that determines if it is public, private to select friends, private to all friends, or even only to yourself. A properly managed social media profile would have a limited target audience that is aligned with the people that you want to see your photo. A lot of people have digital personas that often lie about their personal lives implying they are someone they aren’t. After all, public perception matters. When making photos public though be sure to follow proper etiquette with those that are in the photo with you, including your children. While ultimately it’s the parents decision, ask the child if they want to be posted online and give them an explanation of what it means. Some kids may be more shy than others and not want anyone to see them in a photo they consider embarrassing. These feelings are not unfounded and may be realized by the child if their friends or someone they knew saw the photo.
If you can avoid it though, keep the posts to a minimum per person and maybe rotate out what you want visible to all your “friends” or publicly. This makes it more difficult to train the AI that requires a collection of photos to make the computer generated output. Videos publicly are not recommended or should be clipped to no more than 2-3 seconds as nothing more than previews. It doesn’t take but 7 photos to generate fakes from what you have posted online, which you can read more about by clicking the green button above.
Visit the link below to learn more.
So what now?
Just keep your online presence in mind, this technology will become more and more common as video cards and CPUs get faster and faster for cheaper and cheaper. It’s potential for abuse could escalate the already existing threat of deep fakes with obscene photos having your face on them, as it will eventually be able to generate even the entirety of those photos.