A 13.5 m Investment in D-ID which Prevents Automatic Face Recognition

Technology has developedthat neutralizes automated algorithms for face recognition, without compromising human recognition ability. Surveillance of people in the Corona Time, smart city cameras and smart vehicles – make facial recognition a social threat.

D-ID from Tel Aviv has completed a $ 13.5 million capital raising led by AXA Venture Partners. “Recruitment of this magnitude in a time of economic uncertainty reflects the need for our solutions,” said Sela Blondheim, co-founder and VP of operations. Which is stored with them anonymously, or risk heavy fines. ”

The company has developed software technology that makes it possible to prevent automatic face recognition using robotic software and artificial intelligence, without compromising the human recognition ability of the image. The technology is based on making minor changes to the image file, which are not visible to the human eye, but prevent the possibility of running an image recognition algorithm on the file. It is worth noting that techniques for preventing automatic image recognition have been around for a long time, but they are based on inserting distortions within the image, blurring details and removing elements from it. The result is that the techniques available today impair image quality and sometimes even the ability to perform human facial recognition. D-ID technology exploits vulnerabilities in image recognition algorithms and artificial intelligence systems to prevent them from performing the job.

The name D-ID, is an abbreviation of the term de-identification which refers to all the means that make it difficult to perform automatic image recognition. Automated face recognition software has become not only very common but also a very big personal risk. Downloading images from websites, social networks, and hacking into databases of entities such as banks and government agencies, make the problem of identity theft and abuse by criminals or totalitarian regimes a very urgent problem. In mid-2018, the EU recognized the problem, and stated in the Privacy Protection Regulations (GDPR) that facial photographs are “sensitive personal information”.

D-ID was founded in 2017 by graduates of Unit 8200, Gil Perry, Sela Blondheim and Eliran Kota. Initially, it developed the technology for consumer products, but it soon became clear to it that the really big market is the enterprise market, to which it now directs the technology through a software solution in the organization’s computers, or as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution. Simultaneously with the development of the parameter elimination algorithm, the company employs a “red team” of experts, whose job is to attack the technology and try to overcome it.

However, due to the Corona crisis and the development of new technologies such as smart city and autonomous driving, the problem is becoming much broader: Driver monitoring systems (DMS) in the automotive industry document drivers’ faces and often send the information to the cloud. The surveillance of humans, and even floor-cleaning robots in public institutions are photographed by all the people around them. All of these make facial recognition technologies a widespread threat, in need of defensive technologies like those of Tel Aviv society.