Technologies for Anonymization: SecureSmartCam

Session Type:
Hacking, Working group
Session Category:
Policy, Technical
Session Leader:
Bryan Nunez, Sam Gregory (WITNESS)
Andrew Senior

Day: Saturday
: WA10
Time: 2:30pm – 5:30pm

Session Notes


The SecureSmartCam project, a collaboration of WITNESS and the Guardian Project, aims to design and develop a new type of smartphone camera app that respects the visual privacy, anonymity and consent of the subjects they photograph or record. It’s designed for capturing images in politically sensitive situations where preserving the anonymity of subjects is a serious consideration.

This session continues the theme of Visual Privacy and Anonymity covered by other OVC 2011 sessions: Visual Privacy? Visual Anonymity? and Verifying and Validating Citizen Video and takes a deeper, solutions-based dive that takes advantage of the cross disciplinary expertise of the OVC participants.  The session will start out with an introduction to the potential pros and cons of addressing human rights issues with technology, before addressing some of the key human rights scenarios presented in the earlier Visual Privacy? Visual Anonymity? session.

Using the five human rights scenarios discussed in the earlier Principles of Visual Privacy session as well as other scenarios suggested by the participants, we will try to address the problems and concerns of visual media creators and distributors from technology and best practices perspective.  We will also try to come up with features and solutions such as those in the upcoming InformaCam app that deal with problems around authenticity and validity of data and video as covered in the Verifying and Validating Citizen Video session.

Breakout groups that cut across disciplines will meet up in this session to address key scenarios in visual privacy and anonymity and recommend next steps such as campaign actions or open-source projects.

Session outline:

2:30 – 3:00 Overview
3:00 – 3:30 Posted Scenario and Tech Idea Review
3:30 – 5:00 Interdisciplinary Scenario Solution Brainstorms (Breakout)
5:00 – 5:30 Report Back (Next Steps)

Expected outcomes:

This session will meet with the goal of developing new features and ideas for the SecureSmartCam/ObscuraCam project.  Participants will discuss completely new projects or app ideas.  We will also develop blog posts detailing the scenarios and solutions created during the session.