IT leaders form coalition to develop open standard for tracing the evolution of digital content

A group of influential technology and media companies has partnered to form the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), a Joint Development Foundation project established to address the prevalence of disinformation, misinformation and online content fraud through developing technical standards for certifying the source and history or provenance of media content.

C2PA

Founding members Adobe, Arm, BBC, Intel, Microsoft and Truepic seek to establish a standardized provenance solution with the goal of combating misleading content.

C2PA member organizations will work together to develop content provenance specifications for common asset types and formats to enable publishers, creators and consumers to trace the origin and evolution of a piece of media, including images, videos, audio and documents.

These technical specifications will include defining what information is associated with each type of asset, how that information is presented and stored, and how evidence of tampering can be identified.

The C2PA’s open standard will give platforms a method to preserve and read provenance-based digital content. Because an open standard can be adopted by any online platform, it is critical to scaling trust across the internet.

In addition to the inclusion of varied media types at scale, C2PA is driving an end-to-end provenance experience from the capturing device to the information consumer.

Collaboration with chipmakers, news organizations, and software and platform companies is critical to facilitate a comprehensive provenance standard and drive broad adoption across the content ecosystem.

The formation of the C2PA brings together founding members of the Adobe-led Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI) and the Microsoft- and BBC-led Project Origin, unifying technical specifications under a single entity.

The CAI is building a system to provide provenance and history for digital media, giving creators a tool to claim authorship and empowering consumers to evaluate whether what they are seeing is trustworthy.

Project Origin has its roots in the production and distribution of news. The effort has focused on tackling disinformation in the digital news ecosystem by attaching signals to a piece of content to demonstrate its integrity and making this information available to those using it.

With the foundation of the C2PA, technical standards will be unified while these two entities continue to pursue adoption, prototyping and education within their respective communities.

C2PA announcement builds on several recent advances in content provenance, including Project Origin’s efforts to develop a pipeline for signaling, certification and tracking the history of news content; the CAI’s first-ever end-to-end demonstration of provenance for captured media online; and Truepic’s development of the first native integration of hardware-secured photo capture smartphone technology.

Designing standards and technologies that can certify the source and provenance of online content is an important step forward in addressing rising concerns with the manipulation and manufacture of news and information.

“Adobe is proud to be a founding member of the C2PA along with our partners in technology and media. With the collective expertise of this group, we will accelerate the critical work of rebuilding the public’s trust in online content through broad and open adoption of a provenance standard at scale.

“We welcome everyone to join and participate in this effort so crucial to us all,” said Dana Rao, General Counsel and Content Authenticity Initiative executive sponsor from Adobe.

“There’s a critical need to address widespread deception in online content — now supercharged by advances in AI and graphics and diffused rapidly via the internet.

“Our imperative as researchers and technologists is to create and refine technical and sociotechnical approaches to this grand challenge of our time. We’re excited about methods for certifying the origin and provenance of online content.

“It’s an honor to work alongside Adobe, BBC and other C2PA members to take this critical work to the next step,” said Eric Horvitz, Chief Scientific Officer and Project Origin executive sponsor from Microsoft.




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