Watermark on ‘digital condom’ sexting app can be removed, researchers warn
Wednesday, 18 December 2019
The app allows people to tag their photos with a watermark which researchers have discovered a way to remove. Credit: Telenet
The safety feature on the ‘digital condom’ app launched by Belgian telephone company Telenet at the end of November can be removed, University of Ghent researchers confirm.
The app, called .comdom, was intended to make sexting safer by allowing people to tag their photos with a watermark, containing the contact details of the person intended to receive the picture.
According to Telenet, the watermark feature meant that if the picture was shared with anyone other than the original recipient, it would be traceable. However, as it turns out, the watermark can be removed.
Researchers from Ghent University’s IDLab-MEDIA have confirmed that they were able to develop a program to automatically remove the watermarks.
“In a few days, we developed a tool that automatically removes a watermark while retaining a relatively high image quality. In this way, it enables receivers to leak the private pictures without being identifiable,” the researchers explained in a statement.
“As it turns out, Telenet underestimated the power of modern artificial intelligence technology,” the statement adds.
In response, Telenet confirmed that it will contact the researchers to see how the app could be improved. However, the app will stay online, reports HLN.