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Encrypting Photos on the Cloud to Keep Them Private

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Above, an original image of a sunflower; below, an encrypted version.

A new study from computer scientists at Columbia Engineering reveals what may be the first way to encrypt personal images on popular cloud photo services, without requiring any changes to or trust in those services.

Credit: Columbia Engineering

Computer scientists at Columbia University have developed a system that allows mobile users to encrypt personal images on cloud photo services like Google Photos, in order to maintain their privacy.

The system, Easy Secure Photos (ESP), encrypts photos uploaded to cloud services so hackers cannot access them, even if the user's account is breached.

Columbia's John S. Koh said, "Our system adds an extra layer of protection beyond your password-based account security. The goal is to make it so that only your devices can see your sensitive photos, and no one else unless you specifically share it with them."

From Columbia Engineering News
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