Securo Mobile Attempts to Make Photo Authentication a Reality on Android

Securo Mobile Attempts to Make Photo Authentication a Reality on Android

Aug 15, 2011

Securo is a photo service that seeks to help users out with taking authenticated photos when proof is needed as to the photo’s authenticity. Users take photos inside of Securo (note that tap to focus does not seem to be enabled, as tapping inside the digital viewfinder window only causes a photo to be taken), and the information about the photo is sent to Securo right away. They log the date and location of the photo, and track whether it has been modified. Photos can be imported from the photo library for verification as to their modification status, they will not have a Securo Certificate issued.

The idea of using Securo is to provide independent authentication and verification to photos for important purposes. This means that hypothetically, a user could take a photo of something like a car accident with their phone and be able to use that photo as evidence that it hasn’t been altered in any way, and that the photo was taken at that time and in the location that it was taken. Securo can then provide a digital certificate authenticating the photo; the concern for non-Italian users is the legal admissibility of the photo, but a rough translation of their FAQ claims that “the Italian legislation in this area [of digitial signatures] is one of the most restrictive and demanding. This has forced us to a difficult interpretation of the rules, but at the same time leads us to consider Secure Mobile a product ready for export and use abroad.”

While the international applications of Securo are not entirely answered yet, it does have potential as a photo authentication service, and could help with making Android devices with cameras able to handle even more important tasks. Securo appears to be increasing their presence in English territories, so any questions about the legal use of their application should be answered soon. Securo Mobile is available right now as a free download through the month of August, though only a limited number of authentications per user are available. Users can log in via several authentication methods, including Google and Facebook accounts.

Update: Marco Rucci from Securo chimes in from our comment section: “Just wanted to clarify that the legal validity of the certification applied by Securo Mobile is recognized in the EU countries, since timestamps are issued by a Certification Authority in the “European Trusted List of Certification Service Providers”. This is the same level of security that banks and governments use.”