JPEG-based scalable privacy protection and image data utility preservation

Ruchaud, Natacha; Dugelay, Jean-Luc
IET Signal Processing, 23 March 2018, ISSN: 1751-9683

Here, the authors propose a scalable scrambling algorithm operating in the discrete cosine transform (DCT) domain within the JPEG codec. The goal is to ensure that people are no more identifiable while keeping their actions still understandable regardless of the image size. For each 8 × 8 block, the authors encrypt the DCT coefficients to protect data information, and shift them towards the high frequencies to make the DC position available. Whereas encrypted coefficients appear as noise in the protected image, the DC position is dedicated to restitute some of the original information (e.g. the average colour associated with one or a group of blocks). The proposed approach automatically sets the value of each DC according to the region of interest size in order to keep the level of privacy protection strong enough. Comparing to existing methods, the proposed privacy protection framework provides flexibility concerning the appearance of the protected version which makes it stronger for protecting the privacy even during potential attacks. Moreover, the method does not cause excessive perturbation for the recognition of the actions and slightly decreases the efficiency of the JPEG standard.

Sécurité numérique
Eurecom Ref:
© IEE or IET. Personal use of this material is permitted. The definitive version of this paper was published in IET Signal Processing, 23 March 2018, ISSN: 1751-9683 and is available at :