DeepBlur: A Simple and Effective Method for Natural Image Obfuscation

31 Mar 2021  ·  Tao Li, Min Soo Choi ·

There is a growing privacy concern due to the popularity of social media and surveillance systems, along with advances in face recognition software. However, established image obfuscation techniques are either vulnerable to re-identification attacks by human or deep learning models, insufficient in preserving image fidelity, or too computationally intensive to be practical. To tackle these issues, we present DeepBlur, a simple yet effective method for image obfuscation by blurring in the latent space of an unconditionally pre-trained generative model that is able to synthesize photo-realistic facial images. We compare it with existing methods by efficiency and image quality, and evaluate against both state-of-the-art deep learning models and industrial products (e.g., Face++, Microsoft face service). Experiments show that our method produces high quality outputs and is the strongest defense for most test cases.

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