Google unlock tool to make your people private

A phone with the Google and Android logos in front of a wall of blurred video images.

Magritte’s new open source tool from Google can automatically select objects in videos to add blur to them.
picture: Daniel constant (Clash)

On Friday, Google announced its own machine learning tool called Magritte It was open source. According to information sent to Gizmodo, the tool detects objects within photos or videos and applies blur automatically as they appear on the screen. Google stated that the object does not matter, and camouflage can be applied to, for example, license plates or tattoos.

Google has also stated that the code is useful for videojournalists looking to “highly anonymize” the subjects they speak to. Magritte is an interesting tool in its own right, with uses beyond digital privacy. We don’t have to say it, but of course it can be used to censor more NSFW content on the internet (it’s porn, people, it’s always porn). The tool joins another group Focused “privacy” One of the tools launched by Google developers on the web.

In addition to Magritte, Google is also praising another so-called Privacy Enhancement Technology (PET) called Fully Homomorphic Encryption Transpiler, a phrase that sounds like something straightforward. Star Trek script. Code allows programmers or developers to work By encrypting the data in a batch, and allowing programmers to operate on it without being able to access the user’s personal information. Google has opened source for FHE Transpiler last year Since then it has been used by the company double standard To perform data analysis on normally restricted datasets. Duality claimed that the data can be processed “even on insecure systems” because it “satisfies all the different privacy laws simultaneously”.

Of course, this is a big claim although in some cases it promises to comply with some regulations. European Union General Data Protection Regulation, for example, forces researchers to implement a certain amount of data security for personal data, which can be anything from a person’s name to their email address, phone number, or government-issued ID. Meanwhile in the United States, there A mixture of federal and state privacy laws That has not yet stopped many companies from buying or selling personal data from all domains. Really, most companies are alike big and small (along with Army And the law enforcementfor that matter) aren’t forced to anonymize much or any of the data they work with.

So while Google’s open source FHE Transpiler seems to be a good tool to let researchers To see useful data while keeping users’ information private, you won’t see much capture as long as you stay There is no comprehensive privacy law in the United States

In its release, Google extolled the benefits of PET projects and Protected computing Initiative. The company also said, “We believe that every internet user in the world deserves world-class privacy, and we will continue to partner with organizations to achieve this goal.” The company also stated thatWorks on End-to-end encryption for Gmailwhich would be a great development for one of the largest email platforms in the world.

Of course, this ignores Google Its own role in the current issues with data privacy that we see today. company recently Paying $392 million to settle a lawsuit against 40 state attorneys general after the company allegedly misled users about when to pull users’ location data.

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