YouTube adds feature to blur faces for privacy

YouTube announced Wednesday that it is launching a new feature that allows users to easily blur out faces in videos, protecting the identities of the recorded subjects. According to the blog post announcement, human rights concerns for people depicted in activist footage was a major motivator for the new feature.

YouTube may be the first video sharing websites to offer such a feature. According to WITNESS' 2011 Cameras Everywhere Report, "No video-sharing site or hardware manufacturer currently offers users the option to blur faces or protect identity."

The feature is a little primitive at the moment. Under "Additional Features" in the Video Enhancements tool, simply click the "Apply" button for the Blur All Faces option. A preview of the modified video will be shown. The feature, at least for now, will automatically blur out all detected faces in the video. The blog post warns that the technology might miss certain faces or frames, and recommends that users keep their videos private if the blurring is not satisfactory. No mention was made of whether the feature will be expanded in the future to allow selective or manual facial blurring.

The feature will be available to all users by the end of Wednesday.

Source: YouTube Blog
Image Credit: YouTube Blog

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13 Comments

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Lol at anyone thinking YT wouldn't save the original video, that they get told by a court to hand it over and WOOSH the faces are now visible for easy identification!

n_K said,
Lol at anyone thinking YT wouldn't save the original video, that they get told by a court to hand it over and WOOSH the faces are now visible for easy identification!

Well, if you are blurring faces to prevent identification by legal authorities you should rather be blurring the faces yourself before uploading or not uploading at all.

This is just a quick tool for convenience if you want to hide faces from people browsing youtube.
I don't know why anyone would want to do that, though. Selective blurring would be a lot more useful.

That's right, you are passionate about something so much you manage to make a video and put it on the internet... but you want to hide your face.
Almost like you don't believe what you say or are afraid of what will happen.

I could see it being helpful if you did a video of yourself and you had say your kids in the background and wanted to blur them out and leave yourself being seen. Don't see the point in blurring all the peoples faces though, I would simply not put a video up of myself if I didn't want to be seen lol

KingCracker said,
Let the racist,anti government videos begin.

If you want you can all ready blur faces suing a variety of tools, you tube has just made it more convenient or easier.

KingCracker said,
Let the racist,anti government videos begin.

Huh?? Your voice will still be normal, and if you're worried about your visual identity why not just keep yourself out of view?

And you're allowed to be racist and anti-government while sharing your face in the United States... unless you're in one of the censorship countries, you can say whatever you want.

Auzeras said,

If you want you can all ready blur faces suing a variety of tools, you tube has just made it more convenient or easier.

Wear a mask?