A recent patent application from Hewlett-Packard labs describes a system in which digital cameras would be equipped with circuits that could be remotely triggered to blur the face in any images captured by the camera.
The technology would address privacy concerns without resorting to more draconian measures such as banning cameras.
The patent covers technology that would have to be incorporated both into cameras and the “image inhibitor modules” that would signal “No photos of me, please,” plus a system for registering inhibitors with cameras. The in-camera technology includes sophisticated image-analysis software to selectively identify faces so they can be obfuscated.
The company had no current plans to commercialize the technology.