How Sony's in-camera signing technology could prevent image fraud

Sony announce new in-camera signing technology
(Image credit: Sony)

Corporate business users of Sony cameras can now benefit from new inbuilt forgery-proof photo technology, which can detect any modifications that may have been made to an image, and recognize digital signatures to prevent any fraudulent uses of an image going forward.

The announcement and new technology comes following on from apparent widespread issues that have occurred involving misconduct and the unauthorized editing of digital photo data, with priorities of safeguarding images against misuse. 

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The forgery-proof technology is based around standard cryptography, the practice of secure communication when threatened by malicious third-parties, and will be applicable for passports and ID verifications.

Sony cameras moving forward (including the Sony A7 IV, to be expanded to other models at a later time) will be equipped with Sony's in-camera signing mode, whereby images captured will be immediately cryptographically signed with a digital signature by the camera's processor at the time of capture.

Any further modifications to an image made after this point – including pixel modification – will cancel out the signature, and Sony suggest that any manipulation will be detected by the customer's own certificate server upon examination, and therefore adding extra security in a streamlined process to protect images.

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony implied within its announcement that the fundamental need for certifying authentic images in their purest, unmodified and secure form, will eventually grow and become a priority across multiple industries and applications. Sony's new signing mode should ensure the secure initial creation and transmission of images taken in-camera, using cryptographic methods of security. 

Tackling image manipulation within the wider media, as well as medical and law enforcement fields, is vital while also offering a secure foundation for the insurance and construction industry sectors to report damage and inspection. Director of Digital Imaging and European Product Marketing at Sony, Yasuo Baba, has shared that: 

"It is Sony’s missions to strengthen business solutions with cutting-edge imagery technology and our in-camera digital signing is a real game changer for combatting image manipulation and forgery across multiple industries. Whilst appropriate adaptations for each industry need to be made, the digital signature is multilingual and can be used internationally, enabling organizations worldwide to streamline mandatory image signing with Sony technology.”

Sony says that this technology will be available for business users to access with plans of expansion for further camera models to follow. Sony will also continue its examination into how industry-leading imaging technologies can further support the overall enhanced imaging security to protect multiple industries. 

You may also be interested in:

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.