To step onto city streets means taking your chances with cameras recording your every move.
Over the years, surveillance tools such as face recognition and artificial intelligence have made it easier for states to capture and identify a person in schools, banks, stores or busy intersections. In some cases, our own phones serve as surveillance tools, with social media helping users spread their recordings.
Most recently, a video taken by a bystander shows the death of 46-year-old George Floyd after a white police officer kneeled on the Floyd's neck, causing outrage and protests across the nation. Body-worn cameras are also used by police officers, making it a surveillance tool for both the law enforcement and members of the community.
While some people promote the increased use of cameras in public spaces, others aren't comfortable being caught on camera in some specific settings.
For people filming events in a public setting and who wish to protect the identity of present community members or children, perhaps, some face-blurring tools might be useful. Thanks to Android and iOS apps, as well as video editing tools, it's also easier to keep sensitive details confidential.
Adobe Photoshop, Premiere or After Effects
Whether you're taking a picture or filming a video, Adobe offers several programs to help users blur faces out of their content. While Photoshop includes effects that help photographers blur unwanted faces from their pictures, video editing apps Premiere and After Effects helps seal the identity in faces included in videos. Adobe charges a hefty monthly subscription for access to these tools, with a variety of prices, under the Creative Cloud banner. A Photoshop subscription is as low as $9.99 monthly, while access to Premiere and After Effects is $20.99 monthly. To get all the apps in Adobe's roster, the company charges $52.99 monthly.
YouTube's face blurring tool
Google launched YouTube's face blurring tool in 2012 to help to protect dissidents who appear in videos shared on YouTube after concerns from protesters being exposed to the authorities during the Arab Spring uprising in the Middle East. To use the blur tool, you'll need to have or create a YouTube channel. Sign in to YouTube, go to the YouTube Studio, where videos are managed, click Videos, and "Editor" Users editing can click under "Editor," select the frames of the video you want to cover, and click "Add blur."
This video editing tool allows you to blur parts of your video, as well as add opacity and color. By using the "Face-off" filter, users can drag their mouse across the parts of the video they wish to blur.
This Mac app from Evernote can help users blur faces straight from their phones. Under the "Pixelate" button, users can highlight parts or faces in an image that they may want to blur.
Blur and Mosaic
This iOS application will create a pixelated mosaic when you trace your finger over an area of an image. Users can also select from four different grades of thickness and strength for the mosaic.
This software, available for Windows and Mac, can help users blur out a part of a video to disguise people's faces or hide confidential information.
This Android and iOS app can blur faces in videos, including other features such as voiceovers, subtitling, and transitions and special effects. The app is free, but users can purchase the premium version for more features.
Blur Video and Image
This app allows users to apply a blur effect on video and images on phone gallery items or media captured using the smartphone's camera. App users can also define the duration of each area and adjust the intensity of the blur filter.
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