Currently, the photographs contain a series of metadata grouped together under the name EXIF. These data allow us, among other things, to identify the author, the date of creation, the camera used or the location. The problem? It is extremely easy to modify and tamper with this data (you can do this on Windows, Mac or Google Photos for example). Adobe offers a safer alternative and hope to have a first version ready by the end of the year.


The CAI was actually introduced in November of last year, although it’s now that they gave more details about it and how it will (in general) operate. By posting a white paper the company is waiting better clarify its operation and integration, so that other tech companies can adapt the functionality as well.

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A standard designed to avoid faux

CAI is basically a type of metadata that is attached to photographs and images in general. Unlike EXIF, this information it is more persistent (it is not deleted) and it can be checked (it is alerted to all changes). Thanks to encrypted signatures, the information cannot be changed and if you do, a notice will appear that the content has been changed.


Metadata Example of current EXIF ​​metadata in an image.

The purpose of this? Allow authors to check their content with the confidence that no one will “steal” it. At the same time, it is a Useful tool to prevent images from being manipulated, especially in a time of the Internet where hoaxes are spreading considerably through the images faux. As they explain:

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“CAI data, on the other hand, is cryptographically sealed and verifiable by an individual or organization on the journey from creation to consumption. “

Now what does this really mean for the end user? This means that if a user has doubts about a photo, they can view CAI data to see who the original author is and if the image has been altered, with the certainty that these data are real. Adobe says you can even find out what changes have been made. For example, just changing the lights in a photo to make it look better is not the same as removing an item from the photo.


Screenshot 3

This is where integration with more platforms and companies comes in.That’s why Adobe is looking to make it an open standard. To add this type of CAI data to photographs, you need, for example, smartphones and manufacturers’ cameras are compatible and incorporate both Equipment as for Software so that they can write this information in encrypted form on the photographs taken. The same thing happens with viewing these images, say, on social media. Each platform must integrate the system so that when uploading the photographs, it retains the CAI data and can display it. It can even be used for example to put a label directly on photos that have been modified.

While Adobe is behind this new standard, they’re actually doing it under the name of a new organization called the Content Authenticity Initiative. In her other companies joined, such as Twitter or the New York Times. The idea is that more and more companies continue to do so as the standard progresses.

In short, CAI adds additional information to images and other digital files to improve their attribution and verification. A certainly interesting idea, even if will require adoption by virtually the entire tech industry. For now, it will hit Adobe products in a few months.

More information | CAI
Image | Celine Druguet

Source : Engadget