A world of fake news and AI-generated images. How do we ensure the authenticity of photography?

Highlights, Tech // May 27, 2024

In times of political unrest and election campaigns, this year in America as well as Europe, the question of the authenticity and origin of news images is becoming increasingly important. Fake news and deepfakes threaten the integrity of the media and undermine public trust. While industry experts can still maneuver their way through the news to some extent, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the general public to distinguish between "true" and "false" in the media mix.

ImageSign GmbH, a subsidiary of Tallence AG, has come up with a revolutionary solution.

The challenge of fake news and deepfakes

  • Growing threat: AI is on everyone's lips and development is progressing at breakneck speed. The better the technology gets, the better the images/photographs/graphics become and can hardly be distinguished from reality. We all remember the fake arrest of Donald Trump or the Pope's new winter jacket.
  • Endangering the truth & free formation of opinion: False information can influence elections, for example, and distort public opinion. If we can no longer trust what is being reported and it cannot be proven, the framework of democratic elections begins to wobble.
Profilbild von Frederike

// Contact

Frederike Haupt

  • Product Manager

ImageSign as an innovative solution

  • Trustworthy technology: By using SONY cameras with a crypto-signing function, a digital signature is already stored in the image when it is captured. This signature guarantees that the image cannot be edited without breaking the signature. Meaning: If the image has a signature, I know that the image is "genuine". It is then uploaded to our cloud and can be made available again. The images can be processed in a CMS or DAM, for example.
  • C5 standard cloud architecture: Our cloud solution complies with the C5 standard, which guarantees maximum security in data processing and storage. This ensures that the images are exceptionally protected throughout the entire workflow.
  • Traceability of changes: In our workflow, we can allow certain changes, such as cropping or a few color adjustments to get a more expressive image. In order to ensure traceability, both versions are saved and can be made available.
  • Marking of authenticity: If the images are used in online media or portals, we can define a categorization of the editing. This means that if images are slightly edited, we can categorize them into different levels and users can immediately recognize that it is a heavily edited photo.

The Workflow

From recording to publication

  • Step 1
    Image capture:
    The image is captured with a SONY signature camera, which embeds an unalterable signature in the image.
  • Step 2
    Verification and storage:
    The images are stored in our secure cloud. The authenticity of each file is checked by ImageSign.
  • Step 3
    Editing and documentation:
    Permitted edits are clearly defined and documented. Both versions of the image are retained.
  • Step 4
    Only verified images are released for further use, ensuring a tamper-proof supply chain from capture to publication.

Why ImageSign?

ImageSign focuses on reliability, transparency and strong partnerships in order to stand on a secure and professional footing in the industry.

As a subsidiary of Tallence AG, an experienced IT consulting company, especially in areas with the highest security requirements, and VST Pro GmbH, a premium manufacturer of photography equipment and equipment for photo studios, ImageSign GmbH draws on enormous knowledge. With the support of SONY, an established and respected hardware manufacturer, the know-how is completed and can be used extensively.

The goal of image authenticity is a top priority for ImageSign. Whether for journalism and online media or against insurance fraud: ImageSign wants to be able to attribute to photographs the value they have always had.

Educate and share knowledge

The topic is anchored in our "Digital Products" value stream. We are delighted to invest our knowledge in technology with the ImageSign project and to pass on our knowledge and experience.

At the Media Literacy Day of the organizations "Grannies against the Right" and "Students against the Right" on 28 May 2024, the scope of this topic is on the agenda. At the event, we would like to contribute to ensuring that all generations can navigate our media safely and recognize and report false information by imparting knowledge.

For further information, we are happy to provide these links:

ImageSign GmbH Website

ImageSign LinkedIn

Value Stream Digital Products

Author and contact person: Frederike Haupt