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[News] Safe sexting app does not withstand AI

[News] Safe sexting app does not withstand AI

A few weeks ago, the .comdom app was released by Telenet, a large Belgian telecom provider. The app aims to make sexting safer, by overlaying a private picture with a visible watermark that contains the receiver’s name and phone number. As such, a receiver is discouraged to leak nude pictures.

Example of watermarked image

The .comdom app claims to provide a safer alternative than apps such as Snapchat and Confide, which have functions such as screenshot-proofing and self-destructing messages or images. These functions only provide the illusion of security. For example, it’s simple to capture the screen of your smartphone using another camera, and thus cirumventing the screenshot-proofing and self-destruction of the private images. However, we found that the .comdom app only increases the illusion of security.

In a matter of days, we (IDLab-MEDIA from Ghent University) were able to automatically remove these visible watermarks from images. We watermarked thousands of random pictures in the same way that the .comdom app does, and provided those to a simple convolutional neural network with these images. As such, the AI algorithm learns to perform some form of image inpainting.

Unwatermarked image, using our machine learning algorithm

Thus, the developers of the .comdom have underestimated the power of modern AI technologies.

More info on the website of our research group: http://media.idlab.ugent.be/2019/12/05/safe-sexting-in-a-world-of-ai/

submitted by /u/idlab-media
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Toronto AI is a social and collaborative hub to unite AI innovators of Toronto and surrounding areas. We explore AI technologies in digital art and music, healthcare, marketing, fintech, vr, robotics and more. Toronto AI was founded by Dave MacDonald and Patrick O'Mara.