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Privacy risk! Pixelated images can now be unblurred

Privacy risk! Pixelated images can now be unblurred

It is a very exciting time to be alive with all of the new technology that keeps rolling out. Think of how the world has changed over the years with all of the great innovations.

With things like jetpacks, robots to help around the house and drones, it's almost like "The Jetsons" have become a reality. Unfortunately, sometimes cybercriminals use tech against victims to cause harm.

Have you ever posted a photo online of your shiny new car and blurred out the license plate number for privacy? Maybe you posted a picture of your family's vacation and blurred out the faces of your kids. Having that sense of privacy and security from blurring out sensitive things in photos could be a thing of the past.

Researchers say that computers are now able to decode blurred images and make them unblurred. The researchers were able to identify 71 percent of numbers and faces by using deep learning tools, or an algorithm. Without the tools, humans only have a 0.2 percent success rate.

Internet privacy is now at risk since researchers were successful in defeating three privacy protection technologies. They were able to identify faces from YouTube's blur tool. This tool is used to blur out faces and objects in videos that they upload.

They also used the algorithm to identify numbers and faces from pixelated photos that were created with Photoshop. Then they defeated the JPEG photo format's P3, which is intended to hide information in a secure way.

The algorithm is not complete yet. It is currently only successful at identifying people and things that it's already been shown.

The fear is cybercriminals will use pictures found on social media to train the computer and make this identification method dangerous and common. The researchers' goal was to make people aware this technology exists and help strengthen companies' privacy technology.

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Source: Telegraph
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