De-identification Project

Model-Based Face De-Identification

by Ralph Gross and Latanya Sweeney, Fernando de la Torre, and Simon Baker


Advances in camera and computing equipment hardware in recent years have made it increasingly simple to capture and store extensive amounts of video data. This, among other things, creates ample opportunities for the sharing of video sequences. In order to protect the privacy of subjects visible in the scene, automated methods to de-identify the images, particularly the face region, are necessary. So far the majority of privacy protection schemes currently used in practice rely on ad-hoc methods such as pixelation or blurring of the face. In this paper we show in extensive experiments that pixelation and blurring offers very poor privacy protection while significantly distorting the data. We then introduce a novel framework for de-identifying facial images. Our algorithm combines a model-based face image parameterization with a formal privacy protection model. In experiments on two large-scale data sets we demonstrate privacy protection and preservation of data utility.

Ralph Gross and
Latanya Sweeney, Fernando de la Torre, and Simon Baker. Model-Based Face De-Identification. 22nd IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering, (ICDE). Atlanta, GA, April 2006. (PDF).

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