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Will JPEG’s Next ‘Privacy and Security’ Features Include DRM?

David Gerard has concerns about the Joint Photographic Experts Group (the ISO working group handling the JPEG standard for image compression). “They seem to think they can advance the cause of DRM for JPEG images…with a bit of applied blockchain.” He bases that charge on the fact that the JPEG committee organized a special session on blockchain, and then created an ad hoc group to define use cases.
After six months’ collaboration, the group has produced a white paper — “Towards a Standardized Framework for Media Blockchain” — as announced in the press release following the 80th meeting in July. The Executive Summary declares, “Fake news, copyright violation, media forensics, privacy and security are emerging challenges for digital media. JPEG has determined that blockchain technology has great potential as a technology component to address these challenges in transparent and trustable media transactions… [T]he standardization committee continues to work on improving various components of the standard. This includes incorporation of new technologies addressing current challenges related to transparent and trustable media transactions such as JPEG Privacy and Security.” “JPEG Privacy and Security” is described later in the paper. “JPEG Privacy & Security aims at developing a standard for realizing secure image information sharing, capable of ensuring privacy, maintaining data integrity, and protecting intellectual property rights.”
That is, “Privacy and Security” is a euphemism for Digital Rights Management (DRM) in JPEG…. Chair of the group Dr, Frederik Temmermans stressed to me that “JPEG is not working on DRM in particular but on a more generic framework that supports privacy and security features.” But DRM is very much a significant part of this.


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