Encrypted messaging app Signal releases face-blurring tool

Gelo Gonzales
Encrypted messaging app Signal releases face-blurring tool
The tool is meant to 'help protect the privacy of the people in the photos you share,' says Signal

MANILA, Philippines – Signal on Wednesday, June 3 released a face-blurring tool for its messaging application in light of the ongoing George Floyd protests in the US, which has also put digital privacy front and center. 

Signal says they’re experiencing increased traffic as well, presumably as the app is known for end-to-end messaging encryption, which means messages can’t be intercepted, and can only be read on receiving devices.  (READ: App’s Superlock feature prevents unauthorized livestream stoppage)

With that, Signal introduces the new blur feature in the in-app image editor to “help protect the privacy of the people in the photos you share.” Faces can be blurred by tapping on the blur tool icon, pictured below: 

Image from Signal

“One immediate thing seems clear: 2020 is a pretty good year to cover your face,” says Signal. 

The app also promises that all of the processing happens locally on the device, and not on cloud-enabled software. The feature can be performed automatically but will also have a manual mode as the app says that current system can’t detect every face 100% of the time. The tool is currently being rolled out to users. 

Signal says it is also coming out with a physical-world, face-blurring implement:

Image from Signal

The app says it will be distributing “versatile face coverings to the community free of charge.”  – Rappler.com

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.