WITNESS InformaCam Verification Attributes Pique Journalists’ Interest
Citizen-shot media is often missing vital information that would enable news organizations, courts of law and human rights organizations to trust its veracity.
To help resolve this, WITNESS and the Guardian Project are developing InformaCam, the first mobile app seeking to enrich metadata in order to address issues of authentication for digital media. Funding for its initial development came from a grant we won in the Knight News Challenge, a strong supporter of media innovation.
We recently held an online event with our partners at the Guardian Project to give an update on the beta release of InformaCam. You can watch it here:
The influential media publication Journalism.co.UK explains InformaCam well:
InformaCam, which is in beta on Android, aims to improve the way content is collected and shared, both to help with verification and security of the content. There is also the option for organizations to create their own version, as the technology has been made open-source.
A beta version has been launched with the aim of encouraging organizations, from human rights bodies to news outlets, to “tinker and play” and consider the ways they can use it to support their work.
When content is captured, so too is a multitude of additional metadata, ranging from movement and speed to air pressure, temperature and light. It can also identify WiFi networks and active Bluetooth in the vicinity.
Users can also add additional text as well as tag the image to identify key characters. Meanwhile, the metadata is “encrypted in a secure location”.
As Yvette Alberdingk Thijm, WITNESS’ Executive Director, noted during the event, today’s mobile phones put incredible cameras in the world’s hands and this allows more people than ever to document and share cases of abuse. That said, Yvette explains, “One of the key challenges [with citizen video] is around authentication and verification. Meaning, if I share this really important story, how can I make sure that that story can be trusted?”
In other words, from a the perspective of newsrooms, human rights investigators and legal teams: what trusted tools can those documenting abuse use that helps verify video authenticity? We believe InformaCam can be part of the answer.
Watch the video above or visit Journalism.co.UK: InformaCam app ‘to help verify citizen media more securely’.