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How Sony’s New Camera Authenticity Solution Helps Protect Society From Fake Imagery

In a world of expanding technology and increasing AI, the ability to authenticate a photograph is now more critical than ever before – and Sony is at the forefront in its commitment to developing technology in its cameras to aid in the fight against manipulated imagery and AI-generated fakes. They’ve moved beyond the promise and put it into action, with some of Sony’s most impactful authenticity technology included in the newly announced firmware updates for the Sony Alpha 1 (Ver. 2.00), Sony Alpha 7S III (Ver. 3.00), Sony Alpha 7 IV (Ver. 3.00) and Sony Alpha 9 III (Ver 2.00 after April 2024). With the tools included in Sony’s Camera Authenticity Solution, it will be possible for news agencies to ensure the authenticity of an image. How do they work? We take a deeper look at the tools included in the Authenticity Solution below.

See step-by-step how to update your camera's firmware in this Quick Guide.

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Sony Camera Authenticity Solution

1. C2PA Compliance

One part of the solution is making more Sony cameras C2PA compliant. What is C2PA? It’s a Joint Development Foundation project and standards-setting body that’s developing technical specifications on content provenance and authentication by certifying the source and history of media content. Sony is a steering committee member of the project aiming to develop an end-to-end open technical standard to provide publishers, creators and consumers with opt-in, flexible ways to understand the authenticity, and provenance of different types of media.

With this firmware update, the authenticity information embedded on images from the Sony Alpha 1Sony Alpha 9 III, Sony Alpha 7S III and Sony Alpha 7 IV can be maintained from capture through publication. This provides professional photographers with the ability to preserve their digital signature from the camera, while tracking the editing history throughout revisions.

2. In-Camera Digital Signature Technology

Another important feature of the Sony Camera Authenticity Solution is its in-camera digital signature technology that signs images in real-time. Think of it as creating a “digital birth certificate” for your image, as it certifies the authenticity of the image at the point of capture and is retained throughout revisions. 

The signature contains metadata including 3D-depth information captured through the proprietary technology in the image sensor developed by Sony. This depth information can show if the image captured was of an actual 3D object, vs a photograph of an image or video, providing an extra level of protection and even more assurance of the content’s authenticity, and making Sony’s solution especially unique for photojournalists and news agencies.

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3. Image Validation Site

The third part to Sony’s Camera Authenticity Solution is an Image Validation Site that verifies the image even after edits have been made by C2PA-compliant editing software. This service confirms the authenticity of the photo was taken by a specific camera and that the object of the photo is 3D. This service will initially be offered to select news media agencies, expanding to other agencies at a later date.

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