San Diego, CA—In an effort to address growing concerns regarding fake imagery, Sony Electronics and the Associated Press (AP) completed a second round of testing on new Sony in-camera authenticity technology. This in-camera digital signature allows for the creation of a birth certificate for images, validating the origin of the content.
“While the rapid evolution of generative AI (Artificial Intelligence) brings new possibilities for creative expression, it has also led to growing concern about the impact of altered or manipulated imagery in journalism,” explained Neal Manowitz, president and COO of Sony Electronics. “The dissemination of false information and images has real-world social impact that brings harm not only to our photojournalist and news agency partners but to society as a whole. We care deeply about this challenge and are committed to using our resources to help solve it.”
Sony In-Camera Authenticity Tech
Through Sony’s work on the steering committee for C2PA (Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity), the company helped set the current industry standard for the tracking of editing and manipulation of imagery. Additionally, its in-camera authenticity technology has shown results. Moreover, Sony will continue to push its development toward a wider release.”
Further, Sony’s authenticity technology provides a machine-based digital signature. Thus, it removes the opportunity for undetected manipulation at the start. The digital signature is made inside the camera at the moment of capture in the hardware chipset. This security feature is aimed at professionals wanting to safeguard the authenticity of their content. In addition, it provides an extra layer of security to aid news agencies in their fight against falsified imagery.
“Fake and manipulated images are a major concern for news organizations. Not only do they contribute to mis- and disinformation but ultimately, they erode the public’s trust in factual, accurate imagery,” added David Ake, AP’s director of Photography. “We are proud to be working alongside Sony Electronics to create an authentication solution that can help combat this problem.”
Sony and AP’s most recent field test was completed during October 2023. In this monthlong test, both capture authentication and workflow process were evaluated. To accomplish this, Sony partnered with Camera Bits. That is the company behind the industry standard workflow tool, Photo Mechanic. Alongside Sony and AP, Camera Bits created technology in Photo Mechanic that preserves the camera’s digital signature. What’s more, the signature is preserved all the way through the metadata editing process.
Sony plans to release its new in-camera signature and C2PA authentication in a spring 2024 firmware release. The firmware will update the Sony Alpha 9 III, Alpha 1 as well as Alpha 7S III.
Camera Bits, Inc.
Camera Bits is a pioneering provider of software for professional digital photographers. Dennis Walker, a technology visionary and president/CEO, founded the company in 1996. His mission was to design powerful, intuitive software that improves the workflow of the digital photographer: Photo Mechanic is the company’s photo browser and workflow accelerator.
“We appreciate the significant challenge that manipulated imagery poses for our partners. And we are highly motivated to play a role in helping solve it,” said Dennis Walker, president/founder of Camera Bits. “Photo Mechanic has been used by the photojournalism industry for 25 years. And it continues to evolve as the industry introduces new technology. We are committed to ensuring Photo Mechanic remains a trusted and authentic workflow solution.”