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Method and system to authenticate photo location and time with proximity mobile witnesses Disclosure Number: IPCOM000236351D
Publication Date: 2014-Apr-22
Document File: 5 page(s) / 224K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Photos taken by embedded camera in mobile phones can be used to register a scene or a street situation that needs to be certified about location and time of the event, for example, to be used in future for legal issues. This article discloses a method and system to authenticate photo location and time using the presence of other mobile devices in the scene proximity that can be called "mobile witnesses".

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 47% of the total text.

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Method and system to authenticate photo location and time with proximity mobile witnesses

The last generation mobile devices already have location (GPS) and time (clock) features that can be used to store geographic position and timestamp together with the picture that has been taken, but the problem is that there is no way to certify that the photo was taken in the specified location at that time and not some days before/after the declared time. In this article several levels of certification are proposed to be associated to a photo registered by the camera of the mobile device. A certification process should address the following aspects:

1. Date and time of the certification request/process

Ensure that the certification process happened at a specific date and time is one of the key points in a certification process.

2. Location of the device asking for the photo certification

The exact position of the device used to take the photo is critical to ensure that the certification request is for an event that happened in a specific place. Mechanisms to verify the position of a device are already in place (GPS). An additional mechanism is presented.

3. Photo authenticity

When a certification request is started, it is possible that the photo was already taken and optionally modified using programs to edit and modify pictures. Another aspect to be considered is the possibility that the certification process is asked for a picture that

was not taken on a real environment but on an already taken picture (for example an already printed picture).

Mechanisms to certify that the certification requests happened at a specific date and time (aspect #1) are already in place and are assumed as prerequisite of the present disclosure. The following description will cover aspects #2 and #3 (see Fig. 1):


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Figure 1

The certification process starts after taking a picture and has to be completed in a limited amount of time. The user starts the certification process using a software installed on the phone.

The software automatically starts the certification procedure described by the following diagram:

1) The application software (SW) installed on the requesting device (DEVICE) send a message through a data packet connection to the certification server provider (SERVER) asking for a certification and sending also the picture and the GPS position.

2) The SERVER gets the transaction time and stores it together with the picture and the GPS position in his archive database (certification of aspect #1)

3) The SERVER uses the received GPS position to find all mobile devices equipped

with this SW and actually located in the proximity of the end user asking for the certification.

4) The SERVER sends to all above identified devices a command to execute a "low range network scan" of the surrounding area looking for the DEVICE. This scan is performed combining different low range radio connections technologies like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

5) SW installed...