A new picture and video tracking tech aims to combat the rise of deep fake material online. If the opt-in scheme takes off users will be able to see the providence of material they share before they share it. 

Twitter is a key partner in the group kicking off the initiative, as is Adobe and the New York Times, but of course it's hoped that more key tech firms will come on board.

The trio are holding a technical meeting with other technology companies in the coming weeks at which they hope to establish an open standard for tracking content. Adobe was clear that the new initiative is "not a DRM solution, it’s not a rights management solution… we’re just giving information about the file so consumers have a choice."

"When it comes to deep fakes, knowledge is power and transparency is key", said Adobe's general counsel Dana Rao at a briefing during Adobe's Max conference in Los Angeles attended by Pocket-lint. "Certainly, over the next couple of years, the deep fakes are going to outpace detection…that’s why we think attribution is a key part of the solution to the deep fake problem."

"We’ve a long history in the creative industry...and we see where deep fakes are going. We don’t feel [sole] responsibility…it’s a shared responsibility.

Adobe hopes to establish an open standard for metadata that would sit alongside shared imagery. "We know we can capture that edit trail and so we did a proof a concept and understand and digest that in an easy to consume way. We came up with some file formats for that information. When the content gets shared on a platform like Twitter they’ll be able to [look at the attribution].

In terms of encryption, Rao says that Adobe has its own ideas about securing the metadata but it wants to talk to other providers at its technical summit since "there are some great solutions out there". Adobe also says it has talked to "interested" public cloud providers, too. 

On the issue of DRM, Rao added that "we’re thinking of this more of a byline. DRM means you put a wrapper around the image so it can’t be used. We’re not thinking of it like that. If they’ve [the creator] has a contractual relationship they can [act upon]."

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