Need Anonymity? YouTube Launches Face Blurring Feature to Conceal Your Mug

YouTube announced a new face blurring feature that makes it easy for video uploaders to obscure faces when a level of privacy is needed. It's a bold step forward for YouTube, which is the first video sharing site to offer such a feature. In fact, no consumer hardware manufacturer currently offers a face blurring mechanism, which could come in handy for protestors and activists who might otherwise shy away from uploading videos for fear of the repercussion.

"Whether you want to share sensitive protest footage without exposing the faces of the activists involved, or share the winning point in your 8-year-old’s basketball game without broadcasting the children’s faces to the world, our face blurring technology is a first step towards providing visual anonymity for video on YouTube," the video sharing site announced in a blog post.

YouTube Face Blur

The feature is easy to use. Just bring up your video, click the Enhancements tab, expand the 'Additional features' option at the bottom, and mash the Apply button underneath the Blur All Faces option. You'll be shown a split-screen preview of the change (and other changes you've made) playing alongside the original video.

We tested the feature on a lower quality video and found that it did well with clearly defined faces, but had a bit of trouble staying focused on a subjects within a large group.

"This is emerging technology, which means it sometimes has difficulty detecting faces depending on the angle, lighting, obstructions and video quality," YouTube says. "It’s possible that certain faces or frames will not be blurred. If you are not satisfied with the accuracy of the blurring as you see it in the preview, you may wish to keep your video private."