Who's got the time for passwords in our fast paced reality? It is much easier, to just look at your smartphone and unlock it using facial recognition, pass through airport security (when it was still possible) without taking off your shoes and getting frisked, or even entering the office without punching a code or swiping in. All these are relatively pleasant examples of biometric recognition, however, biometric recognition becomes less pleasant when it’s used to track us, or when these databases are leaked. Israeli startup, D-ID, claims that they can scramble our images so that they seem the same, but facial recognition systems won’t be able to identify us.
Scrambles the photos, but not how you think
D-ID’s system, which is based on AI technology, can perform small changes to the photo files and recreate them. These small changes are invisible to the naked eye, but are enough to scramble the photo-recognition algorithm. On one hand, it protects users from identity theft, information theft, and unlawful tracking. On the other hand, though, the fact that photos and videos are currently “encrypted”, allows companies who need to obey strict regulations to start using this content for analytics and other applications, even storing photos that can’t be recognized in case of a data leak.
Last week (Wednesday), D-ID announced the completion of another Seed funding round totaled at $13.5 million and led by its impressive list of investors: Omron, Hyundai, AI Alliance, Y Combinator, Maverick, Pitango, and Mindset. Adding to the list was newcomer, AXA Ventures. Including the recent Seed funding series, the company has raised a total of $17.5 million so far. D-ID was founded in 2017 by Gil Perry (CEO), Sella Blondheim (COO), and Eliran Kuta (CTO). The three founders have experienced themselves the dangers of invasion of privacy, while working at sensitive positions, they were prohibited from sharing photos on social media. As a result, they began thinking of ways to protect photos from facial recognition technology, and after working for different startups, the three joined together and started D-ID. The young company that's based out of Tel Aviv is an alumnus of both the Y-Combinator, as well as EISP’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Support program.