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Digital Watermarking Alliance Approves Privacy Principles

29 May, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

The Digital Watermarking Alliance, the international group touting media watermarking efforts, is giving its thumbs up to the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), which May 29 released a series of privacy principles for digital watermarking.

“Watermarking seems to be getting increased attention as a tool for facilitating digital content distribution,” said David Sohn, a senior policy lawyer for CDT. “But people are bound to wonder what it means if their media files contain embedded information that can be used to identify them.

“From both the consumer and content distributor perspective, it would be best to address these kinds of privacy questions in advance, on a proactive basis.”

The principles suggest that content owners make the public aware that media contains watermarking and avoid including identifying information of any type that could be culled by a third party.

The principles earned the Alliance's endorsement.

“Digital watermarking has enjoyed broad adoption across many segments of industry and government, and in areas where interoperability is necessary and privacy needs to be safeguarded, we believe watermarking is an ideal solution,” said Reed Stager, chairman of the Digital Watermarking Alliance. “The combination of digitally watermarked content and respect for consumer privacy will further broaden adoption and unleash new distribution models.

“We applaud the Center for Democracy & Technology's focus on digital watermarking and its efforts to gather input from a broad array of stakeholders in developing its recommended best practices.”

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