The secure messaging app Signal has been updated with a new function that can automatically blur faces. The feature was added at a time when the response to peaceful protests was not always peaceful.
The feature was discovered by TNW.
Thousands of people protest the brutality of the police and to support the Black Lives Matters cause. If you’re part of the protests, you can post photos of the demonstration on your social media or send them to your friends – and that’s not entirely safe, as this can help identify people and put them at risk.
While it’s important to share these moments, it’s also important to use tools that may prevent the authorities from snooping on people in these photos. That’s why the privacy-oriented Messenger Signal has launched a new tool in its app that automatically blurs the faces of people in your photos – and you can use these images anywhere.
The function uses face detection to automatically blur faces. However, there is also a manual blur tool for missing faces.
Although the main purpose of the tool is to send anonymized photos within the chat app, the blurry photos are stored on your camera roll so you can use the photos elsewhere – for example on social media.
To use it, enter a chat, tap the camera icon, select a photo, and then tap the blur icon.
You will then be given a switch to blur faces and can also use your finger to manually blur other elements in the photo.
You may also want to remove the location and other metadata from a photo before you share it. We described how to do this in one of our tutorials:
- Open the Photos app on the iPhone or iPad
- Select the photos or videos you want to share
- Touch the Share button (Square with up arrow, lower left corner on iPhone, upper right corner on iPad)
- Touch at the top Options
- Touch the next to switch Location To turn it off, tap Done (upper right corner)
- Choose how you want to share and send your photos / videos.
Another switch for all photo data is located under the location switch.
Peaceful protesters outside the White House faced gas and rubber bullets earlier this week.
As Donald Trump told the nation in a speech in the White House Rose Garden on Monday that he would protect peaceful demonstrators, police unloaded tear gas, rubber bullets and lightning strikes about 100 meters north to disperse peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square, Washington. DC so the president can go to St. John’s Episcopal Church to take a photo.