If you have spent much time looking at Street View on Google Maps, you have noticed Google does a good job of blurring out license plates. It’d be nice if everyone that makes videos had access to the same tech Google uses, right? Well, now we do, and even better: it’s free.
Dubbed Magritte, Google is releasing its tool for blurring objects as open-source software on Github. The company pledged to release privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) as part of a Protected Computing initiative. The first in line is Magritte, which formally was an internal tool only.
Magritte can recognize private items that might need blurring, like license plates, and automatically do the work for you. Google says the process is quick, applying the blur as soon as the object appears on screen. According to the company, thanks to Machine Learning, it doesn’t require much computational power, even while it retains speed and accuracy.
The open-source software is available to download now from GitHub.