Tech giants partner to trace online content – seek to develop standard to trace origin of online digital content

A group of very influential technology and media companies have partnered to form the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA). The coalition aims to “address the prevalence of disinformation, misinformation and online content fraud through developing technical standards for certifying the source and history or provenance of media content.”

The formation of the C2PA brings together founding members of the Adobe-led Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) and the Microsoft- and BBC-led Project Origin, unifying technical specifications under a single entity. Project Origin is also a partner with CBC Radio-Canada.

 The CAI is currently building a system to “provide provenance and history for digital media, giving creators a tool to claim authorship and empowering consumers to evaluate whether what they are seeing is trustworthy.” Project Origin on the other hand has its roots in the productions and distribution of news. Their efforts have focused on tackling “disinformation in the digital news ecosystem by attaching signal to a piece of content to demonstrate its integrity.”

The way it works – Essentially you will be able to upload your data alongside your work to verify that it is yours. This will also show other users if the image or video etc belongs to the person claiming it does, and if any edits have been made to the work. Here’s a video explaining how it works:

The technology would allow a content creator to “put their mark on their work and have that attribution accompany that piece of content across different platforms, hosts and stories” said Chief Product Officer of Adobe, Scott Belsky to an audience at Adobe MAX 2019.

Executive quotes

The following is what Executives at Adobe, BBC, Microsoft and Truepic had to say about the new coalition:

Adobe: “Adobe is proud to be a founding member of the C2PA along with our partners in technology and media. With the collective expertise of this group, we will accelerate the critical work of rebuilding the public’s trust in online content through broad and open adoption of a provenance standard at scale. We welcome everyone to join and participate in this effort so crucial to us all.”

– Dana Rao, General Counsel and Content Authenticity Initiative executive sponsor, Adobe

BBC: “It’s vital that news providers play a part in the battle against disinformation. We welcome the opportunity to participate in the C2PA provenance work, which has the potential to support audience confidence in news at a time when trusted sources of information are more important than ever.”

– Jatin Aythora, Chief Architect, BBC

Microsoft: “There’s a critical need to address widespread deception in online content — now supercharged by advances in AI and graphics and diffused rapidly via the internet. Our imperative as researchers and technologists is to create and refine technical and sociotechnical approaches to this grand challenge of our time. We’re excited about methods for certifying the origin and provenance of online content. It’s an honor to work alongside Adobe, BBC and other C2PA members to take this critical work to the next step.”

– Eric Horvitz, Chief Scientific Officer and Project Origin executive sponsor, Microsoft

Truepic: “Truepic was founded on the principle that provenance-based media authenticity is the only viable, scalable long-term solution to restoring trust in what we see online. We firmly believe that ecosystem-wide adoption through an open standard is crucial to the long-term health of the internet. The C2PA will streamline the distribution of high-integrity digital content at scale, a vital step in restoring society’s shared sense of reality.”

– Jeffrey McGregor, CEO, Truepic

What do you think – is this a good move to allow content creators to safeguard their work? I believe it’s not a bad piece of software to possess. It allows for the ability to trace a creator’s content back to them if they willingly seek to participate in giving that information out. The concern is always the potential abuse and misuse of this type of information – and this is a lot of information to give out.

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Photo from Adobe blog.

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Published by Greg Staley

Greg Staley is a husband, and a father to 3 beautiful girls. He is a concerned citizen who is closely watching his government's actions through critical thinking, and assessment of all qualified and relevant data. He believes in going to the Primary sources of data at all times if possible.