Google’s YouTube video website has introduced a new tool which uses automatic face-blurring technology raising strong concerns over offences filmed going unpunished.
Though in the nascent stages in criminal prosecution, videos from websites have been used as a strong evidence in convicting criminals sued in day-to-day crimes. Several jury members across the world have found random videos filmed by smartphones on crime scenes to be very helpful in tracking down criminals.
Amidst strong criticism from the global internet community, Google defended it’s new tool, “Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your eight-year old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube,”
YouTube explained that the website will create an original and blurred copy of the posted video and will let the user decide which one gets a public access. If the blurred video is deleted, it will automatically be removed from the Google servers.
Amanda Conway, policy associate at YouTube, said “As citizens continue to play a critical role in supplying news and human rights footage from around the world, YouTube is committed to creating even better tools to help them.”
The introduction of the new tool has garnered mix responses among the online community. Some users from the war-torn Middle East believe that live of nationals staging uprisings in Egypt, Syria and Libya against the oppressive forces can be saved.