Using prototype Canon camera and Starling Lab’s authentication framework, pilot programme helps alleviate consumers’ concerns about genuineness of news images
LONDON, AUGUST 30, 2023 – Thomson Reuters (NYSE/TSX: TRI), a global content and technology company, Canon, a world-leading provider of imaging and information technology solutions, and Starling Lab, an academic research lab innovating with the latest cryptographic methods and decentralized web protocol, announced today the completion of a pilot programme demonstrating how news organisations could certify the authenticity of an image and ease concerns about content’s legitimacy.
In collaboration with Canon, global news organisation Reuters proved its ability to embed trust into a photograph from its source by preserving a picture’s data provenance chain of integrity – the image’s metadata – from the point of capture to publication. Reuters also successfully integrated Starling Lab’s authentication framework into its picture desk workflow. One of the first practical news-gathering applications of the technology, this pilot comes at a time when consumers are increasingly worried about their ability to distinguish between real and fake news on the internet, and recent advancements in generative AI technologies which are making it easier for anyone to create visuals to deceive or misinform viewers.
“Trust in news is critical. However, recent technological advancements in image generation and manipulation are causing more people to question what is real, and what is not. Reuters continues to explore new technologies to guarantee that the content we deliver to the world be factual and trusted,” said Rickey Rogers, Global Editor, Reuters Pictures. “Our collaboration with Canon demonstrates the potential for new technology in image verification to increase consumers’ confidence that what they see is genuine. We look forward to sharing the encouraging findings from the project with our customers and applying them to protect our photojournalism. Our goal is to remain one of the most trusted global news sources.”
The pilot project saw Reuters photojournalist Violeta Santos Moura capture pictures using a prototype Canon camera that digitally assigns each photograph and its corresponding time, date and location with a unique identifier (hash value) and then cryptographically signs them to establish a root of trust for their authenticity. The photos are then registered into a public blockchain and updated after each modification by the Reuters pictures desk. This process continues until the photo is distributed with its metadata, edit history and blockchain registration embedded in the photograph using the new C2PA standard. To verify the picture’s authenticity, news customers can compare its unique identifier (hash value) on the public ledger. Viewers can also review its metadata by clicking on the embedded icon on the project’s microsite. More details about the underlying technology here.
“Many photojournalists rely on Canon technologies. We understand the role that images play in society and recognise the importance of preserving image authenticity,” said Richard Shepherd, Product Marketing and Marketing Strategy Senior Manager, Canon Europe. “Working as part of the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI), Canon wants to take meaningful measures to protect image outputs that serve the news community worldwide.”
Learn more about the proof of concept here: http://www.reutersagency.com/authenticity-poc/.
Reuters, part of Thomson Reuters (NYSE / TSX: TRI), is a leading global provider of business, financial and world news, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Leveraging industry expertise and cutting-edge technology and tools, Reuters global team of trusted journalists delivers fast, accurate and fact-based news, insight and analysis to financial market professionals exclusively via LSEG products, to the world’s media organizations and to professionals via industry events and Reuters.com. Founded in 1851, Reuters is committed to the Trust Principles of independence, integrity and freedom from bias. For more information, visit Reuters.com.
About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters (NYSE / TSX: TRI) (“TR”) informs the way forward by bringing together the trusted content and technology that people and organizations need to make the right decisions. The company serves professionals across legal, tax, accounting, compliance, government, and media. Its products combine highly specialized software and insights to empower professionals with the data, intelligence, and solutions needed to make informed decisions, and to help institutions in their pursuit of justice, truth, and transparency. Reuters, part of Thomson Reuters, is a world’s leading provider of trusted journalism and news. For more information, visit tr.com.
Canon Europe is the EMEA strategic headquarters of Canon Inc., a global provider of imaging technologies and services. Canon Europe has operations in roughly 120 countries, with approximately 12,850 employees, and contributes to approximately a quarter of Canon’s global revenues annually.
Founded in 1937, the desire to continuously innovate has kept Canon at the forefront of imaging excellence throughout its 80 plus year history and has commitments to invest in the right areas and capture growth opportunities, from cameras to commercial printers, and industrial equipment to healthcare technologies.
Canon’s corporate philosophy is Kyosei – ‘living and working together for the common good’. In EMEA, Canon Europe pursues sustainable business growth, focusing on reducing its own environmental impact and supporting customers to reduce theirs using Canon’s products, solutions and services.
Canon is constantly redefining the world of imaging for the greater good. Through its technology and spirit of innovation, it pushes the bounds of what is possible – helping to see our world in ways we never have before.
In January 2023, Canon joined the Content Authenticity Initiative and the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity.
Further information about Canon Europe is available at: www.canon-europe.com
jj.minder @ tr.com
Corporate Communications, Canon EMEA
sarah.vloothuis @ canon-europe.com