Skip to Main Content
We propose a novel use of mobile communications to permit individuals to assert a preference for privacy from video surveillance. Our system, called Cloak, grants an individual the right to prohibit others from distributing video containing their image. We present our system architecture and operation, and demonstrate how the system enhances privacy while requiring no change to existing surveillance technology. We use analysis and simulation to show that an individual's video privacy can be protected even in the presence of the many sources of error (e.g., unsynchronized clocks, unreliable communications, location error) we anticipate in a deployed system, and argue that there are no insurmountable technical barriers to Cloak's large-scale deployment. Given the threat to privacy posed by the rapid and widespread deployment of camera-phones, we maintain that today's surveillance systems must be urgently augmented with privacy enhancing technology.