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Content based image retrieval (CBIR) is a technique to search for images relevant to the user's query from an image collection. In last decade, most attention has been paid to improve the retrieval performance. However, there is no significant effort to investigate the security concerning in CBIR. Under the query by example (QBE) paradigm, the user supplies an image as a query and the system returns a set of retrieved results. If the query image includes user's private information, an untrusted server provider of CBIR may distribute it illegally, which leads to the user's right problem. In this paper, we propose an interactive watermarking protocol to address this problem. A watermark is inserted into the query image by the user in encrypted domain without knowing the exact content. The server provider of CBIR will get the watermarked query image and uses it to perform image retrieval. In case where the user finds an unauthorized copy, a watermark in the unauthorized copy will be used as evidence to prove that the user's legal right is infringed by the server provider.
Date of Conference: June 28 2009-July 3 2009