YouTube launches face blurring feature

Video sharing site introduces new technology to blurs faces in uploaded videos, to preserve anonymity of activists and protect identities of people in videos.

YouTube has launched a feature which blurs the faces of people in videos uploaded to the site.

According to a Wednesday blog post by the video sharing site, this application is its first step toward providing visual anonymity for YouTube videos, enabling the sharing of "sensitive protest footage" without showing the faces of activists involved, or protecting the identities of people in the videos.

"Visual anonymity in video allows people to share personal footage more widely and to speak out when they otherwise may not," Amanda Conway, YouTube policy associate, said in the blog post.

After users upload their videos, they will be able to edit within the site's video enhancement tool, by going to "Additional Features" and clicking the "Apply" button to "Blur All Faces", she explained. Before the video is published, a preview of the video with blurred faces will also be showed to users.

However, Comway admitted that the technology may face difficulty detecting faces depending on the angle, lighting, obstructions and video quality, and certain faces or frames may not be blurred.