CANOPIC: Pre-digital privacy-enhancing encodings for computer vision

Jasper Tan, Salman S. Khan, Vivek Boominathan, Jeffrey Byrne, Richard Baraniuk, Kaushik Mitra, Ashok Veeraraghavan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The standard pipeline for many vision tasks uses a conventional camera to capture an image that is then passed to a digital processor for information extraction. In some deployments, such as private locations, the captured digital imagery contains sensitive information exposed to digital vulnerabilities such as spyware, Trojans, etc. However, in many applications, the full imagery is unnecessary for the vision task at hand. In this paper we propose an optical and analog system that preprocesses the light from the scene before it reaches the digital imager to destroy sensitive information. We explore analog and optical encodings consisting of easily implementable operations such as convolution, pooling, and quantization. We perform a case study to evaluate how such encodings can destroy face identity information while preserving enough information for face detection. The encoding parameters are learned via an alternating optimization scheme based on adversarial learning with deep neural networks. We name our system CAnOPIC (Camera with Analog and Optical Privacy-Integrating Computations) and show that it has better performance in terms of both privacy and utility than conventional optical privacy-enhancing methods such as blurring and pixelation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, ICME 2020
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728113319
StatePublished - Jul 2020
Event2020 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, ICME 2020 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: Jul 6 2020Jul 10 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo
ISSN (Print)1945-7871
ISSN (Electronic)1945-788X


Conference2020 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo, ICME 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Computational imaging
  • Face de-identification
  • Privacy-preserving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications


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