Paper ‘Viewer Experience of Obscuring Scene Elements in Photos to Enhance Privacy’ to be Presented at ACM CHI ’18

With the rise of digital photography and social networking, people are sharing personal photos online at an unprecedented rate. In addition to their main subject matter, photographs often capture various incidental information that could harm people‚Äôs privacy. In our paper, ‘Viewer Experience of Obscuring Scene Elements in Photos to Enhance Privacy’, we explore methods to keep this sensitive information private while preserving image utility. While common image filters, such as blurring, may help obscure private content, they affect the utility and aesthetics of the photos, which is important since the photos are mainly shared on social media for human consumption. Existing research on privacy-enhancing image filters predominately¬† focus on obscuring faces or lack a systematic study of how filters affect image utility. To understand the trade-offs when obscuring various sensitive aspects of images, we study eleven filters applied to obfuscate twenty different objects and attributes, and evaluate how effectively they protect privacy and preserve image utility and aesthetics for human viewers.

Read more in our CHI ’18 paper.