Sony announced a camera function that would protect the images from hidden manipulations. In a special mode, they would be able to obtain a cryptographic "signature" against forgery, and any subsequent modification would result in a lack of consistency with the signature image. According to Sony, this would make it easy to recognize manipulation of content.
It is worth noting that technology does not protect the images from any modifications; it makes it easy to establish that the digital signature is still valid. ) According to the company, such a solution arose in response to increasing cases of unauthorized editing and other irregularities in digital photography — in the media, medical and law enforcement, insurance and even construction.
As long as the cryptographic signature is only available in Sony Alpha 7 IV's professional cell, the camera building without lens is worth about $2,500, the optics are not supplied in the kit. In addition, according to Sony's data, the use of the signature requires a special licence, so long as it is available only to business users. The company reports that technology is supported in the future by other models and even in other industries. According to the company's representative, Alpha 7 IV will be supported by buyers from the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.
In 2019, Adobe had already introduced the Continental Authority Initiative technology aimed at tracking the "legitimacy" of digital images. Two years later, Adobe, Arm, Intel and Microsoft had established a standardization committee — C2PA — to provide relevant technical standards and documentation, Sony joined the group in March this year. In 2020, Adobe added to Photoshop a tool that recorded every image change made in metadata, as well as each person's name. These data can be added to the exported images. However, Photoshop users may simply not include a tracking function, as a result only metadata previously produced will remain in history.
In the case of Sony's signature, cryptographic protection will accompany the image everywhere and at all times and, presumably, in some way, allow the recording of changes in any case. In other words, it will not be possible to eliminate digital signature, modify the image and re-sign again. It is not known how digital signatures will be checked for authenticity.
In turn, Adobe CAI is already supported by a number of partners, including NVIDIA, Microsoft and Twitter, Associated Press, New York Times and Getty Images, as well as Nikon and Leica.