JPEG Privacy & Security Workshop Announcement and Call for Participation
August 17, 2015

Call for Participation

Brussels, Belgium – October 13th, 2015 – 13-18h

Privacy and security support for image data is becoming steadily more important seen the fact that image collections are increasingly more stored in distributed and cloud repositories rather than in private repositories. Moreover, social media and online photo repositories, for example, are currently offering insufficient means to secure privacy-sensitive information carried by the picture or to signal associated IPR metadata. Observing that on a daily basis billions of pictures are shared in JPEG legacy formats on these media, it is evident that embedding additional functionality that would safeguard this type of information and functionality would benefit a significant user base.

Hence, the JPEG Committee has launched a new activity called JPEG Privacy & Security. This activity aims at developing a standard for realizing secure image information sharing which is capable of ensuring privacy, maintaining data integrity, and protecting intellectual property rights. This activity is not only intended to protect private information carried by images - in the image itself or the associated metadata - but also to provide degrees of trust while sharing image content and metadata based on individual preferences. It is necessary to extend the existing coding standards by adding such preferences. JPEG Privacy & Security will explore ways on how to design and implement the necessary functionality without significantly impacting on coding performance while ensuring scalability, interoperability, and forward and backward compatibility with current JPEG standard frameworks.

Since the JPEG committee intends to interact closely with actors in this domain, a workshop is organised on October 13, 2015 during the JPEG meeting in Brussels, Belgium. The workshop will be targeted on understanding industry, user, and policy needs in terms of technology and supported functionalities.


13h00 - Registration

13h30 - Touradj Ebrahimi (JPEG Convenor, EPFL), “JPEG Privacy and Security - Introduction and Scope”

Prof. Touradj Ebrahimi received his M.Sc. and Ph.D., both in Electrical Engineering, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1989 and 1992 respectively. In 1993, he was a research engineer at the Corporate Research Laboratories of Sony Corporation in Tokyo, where he conducted research on advanced video compression techniques for storage applications. In 1994, he served as a research consultant at AT&T Bell Laboratories working on very low bitrate video coding. He is currently Professor at EPFL heading its Multimedia Signal Processing Group. He was also adjunct Professor with the Center of Quantifiable Quality of Service at Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) from 2008 to 2012. Since 2014, he is convener of the JPEG committee.

13h45 - Michel Steidl (Managing Director IPTC), “I don’t want to get my copyright stripped off”

The major goal for applying metadata to a photo is: associate permanently with it descriptions of its visual content and data for managing it properly. This is done for more than two decades by embedding the metadata into JPEG files. Now in an internet driven business world a JPEG file may take many hops in a supply chain and is exposed to actions by humans and/or software stripping off metadata values. IPTC as the body behind the most widely used business metadata schema for photos is permanently asked by people from the photo business how their metadata could be protected against deletion. This presentation will show the requirements in detail and also considerations about different levels of protection to meet the needs of the originators of photos and the needs of parties downstream.

Michael Steidl oversees the operation of IPTC which develops and promotes efficient technical standards to improve the management and exchange of information between content providers, intermediaries and consumers. He had joined this membership organisation in 2003. Inside IPTC Michael is the lead of photo and video metadata activities and manages the maintenance of the IPTC Photo Metadata Standard. He has 30 years of experience with information technology for news as a consultant to news providers.

14h10 - Jeremy Malcolm (Senior Global Policy Analyst, Electronic Frontier Foundation), “Copyright, Code and Creativity: A Note of Caution About DRM in JPEG”

The proposed work program of the JPEG Privacy & Security activity includes some valuable functional improvements, such as the digital signing of image metadata, but there is also the prospect that a new form of “image DRM” could be introduced. This presentation outlines some of the reasons why such a form of image protection would likely be ineffective, and would create significant costs for legitimate users. It is argued that many of the objectives of the activity can be realized without resorting to the use of DRM, and that there are legal and social alternatives for achieving the remaining objectives without introducing technical restrictions on the use of JPEG images.

Jeremy Malcolm is Senior Global Policy Analyst at Electronic Frontier Foundation, where he works on the international dimensions of issues such as intellectual property, network neutrality, Internet governance, and trade. Jeremy’s background is as an information technology and intellectual property lawyer and IT consultant. He completed doctoral studies on the topic of Internet governance in 2008. He is currently a Steering Committee member of the OECD Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council.

14h35 - Charlotte Waelde (Professor of Intellectual Property Law, Univerity of Exeter), “Cultural Heritage, Copyright and Code: Europeana Space as a case study”

Charlotte will explain and describe the work of the European funded Europeana Space project highlighting the copyright challenges that have been faced by the pilot projects and during the hackathons. She will detail a number of the current challenges with the copyright framework, including regional coding, exceptions and limitations, the Berne Convention ‘no formalities’ rule; and raise the question of the privacy of those using images - within the context of the work within JPEG on privacy and security

Professor Charlotte Waelde has worked within the intellectual property law field for the past 25 years. In recent years she has specialised in copyright, digitisation and cultural heritage. Charlotte’s focus is on the interface between intellectual property law and changing technologies, the changes in the law wrought by those technologies, and the impact that those changes have on the way that the law is both perceived and used by the affected communities. Her work explores ways in which the law may be better calibrated to meet the needs of stakeholders.

14h50 - Fred Truyen (Professor of Philosophy of Information, KU Leuven), “Publishing Archival Photographs: concerns, pittfalls and their technical implications”

Stimulated a.o. by European funding, there has been a sizable movement to provide Open Access to archives. The cultural right to heritage is indeed an important value. Many of the archival documents published in this way, e.g. on platforms such as Europeana, are photographs. It is something people can relate to, that triggers emotions and memories.

Yes, as the Photoconsortium members experienced in the project EuropeanaPhotography, there are many issues involved when you publish archival photographs. These involve copyrights. Giving access to an image on the web means allowing for digital copies. There is a particular problem involving Orphan Works, but more generally there is a need to convert the copyright status of works into metadata. This is a first issue relating to image standards. These issues also involve privacy. On archive photos of a civil war period e.g., people’s ancestors from the same village might appear on different sides of the conflict. And more importantly moral and cultural rights. Besides the desire of stakeholder communities that their cultural heritage isn’t misused in hate propaganda, they might object to commercial reuse. Lastly, it might involve integrity of the image: cultural heritage should not be tampered with. Here also there are direct links to technical solutions in image standards.

Prof. dr. Frederik Truyen (°1961) is professor at the Faculty of Arts, Leuven University (KU Leuven). He publishes on E-Learning, ICT Education, Digitisation of Cultural Heritage and Epistemology. In charge of CS Digital, the mediaLab of the Institute for Cultural Studies. Fred Truyen is a member of the Open Education Consortium, and is involved in projects on digitization of Cultural Heritage, such as RICH, EuropeanaPhotography, Europeana Space and CIVIC Epistemologies. Fred Truyen is president of Photoconsortium, a membership organisation to promote photographic heritage.

15h40 - Jaime Delgado (Professor of Distributed Multimedia, UPC), “Privacy rules over JPEG images”

Privacy policies need to be evaluated to control access to partial or complete metadata and image data. There are two main open issues to discuss in this presentation. The first one concerns how to express privacy rules, at which level of detail, how the rules relate to the images, and what should be standardized. The second issue is the authorization for access using privacy rules. This includes possible mechanisms and its formalization, and again, what to standardize.

Prof. Jaime Delgado. PhD in Telecommunication Engineering (1987). Full Professor at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC BarcelonaTECH). Head of the Distributed Multimedia Applications Group (DMAG). Project Manager of many European and national research projects. Active participation, since 1989, in International standardization, as co-editor of standards and co-chair of groups in ISO/IEC, EWOS, ETSI, ITU-T and CEN/ISSS. Evaluator and reviewer for the European Commission.

16h00 - Lin Yuan (PhD student at Multimedia Signal Processing Group, EPFL), “Privacy-Preserving Photo Sharing based on Secure JPEG”

Sharing photos online has become an extremely popular activity but also caused great privacy concerns. Current solutions to privacy protection in photo sharing are mostly limited in the degree of protection or usability. We have proposed a privacy-preserving photo sharing architecture, based on a Secure JPEG and a Public Key Infrastructure. A prototype application based on iOS platform demonstrates a good degree of security and usability of proposed photo sharing architecture.

Lin Yuan, PhD student at Multimedia Signal Processing Group of EPFL, supervised by Prof. Dr. Touradj Ebrahimi. Research focused on security and privacy protection of multimedia content. Worked as intern for Technicolor R & I in Hannover, Germany, between July 2012 and August 2013. Obtained M.Sc. and B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering from EPFL and UESTC (China) in 2013 and 2011 respectively.

16h20 - Patrick De Smedt (Digital Information Expert, National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology - NICC), “Towards facilitating reliable recovery of JPEG pictures?”

The aim of this short presentation will be to plead the case for considering technical issues and possibilities that could have a major impact on various methods used for reliable recovery of JPEG pictures. Such recovery methods can be valuable assets when (file system) data has been (partially) corrupted due to accidental or deliberate erasure or corruption of data. We will consider two major use cases, i.e., forensic/law enforcement and consumer based JPEG recovery applications. Recent related work.

Dr. ir. Patrick De Smet received his degree in computer science engineering at Ghent University in 1995. He then joined the Dep. for Telecommunications and Information Processing (TELIN) at Ghent University, from which he obtained his PhD for his research on motion-based segmentation of video sequences and watershed-based image segmentation algorithms. From 2003 he initiated research in forensic imaging and ICT techniques, and, in 2005 he joined the Belgian national forensic institute NICC/INCC, where he currently continues working on methods and tools for forensic 2D- and 3D-imaging analysis, (CCTV) image and video enhancement, and forensic IT recovery and repair of damaged multimedia data.

16h40 - Panel Discussion

17h30 - End


Location: Hotel Bloom!, Rue Royale 250 Koningsstraat, 1210 Brussels

Registration: registration for the workshop is free (select the “only the workshop” option on the registration page).

Organising Committee

  • Peter Schelkens (Belgium)
  • Takaaki Ishikawa (Japan)
  • Ambarish Natu (Australia)
  • Frederik Temmermans (Belgium)
  • Suah Kim (South Korea)
  • Arianne Hinds (United States)
  • Athanassios Skodras (Greece).

More information

To stay posted on the action plan for JPEG Privacy & Security, please regularly consult our website at and/or subscribe to our e-mail reflector e-mail reflector.

This event is sponsored by Vrije Universiteit Brussel and iMinds.