Citizen-shot media sent to newsrooms, human rights organizations and courts of law is often missing vital information that would enable verification of the story; such as who shot it, the surrounding context, its chain of custody and a reliable source of data that can answer “Is this real?”

In February, WITNESS and the Guardian Project were awarded a prestigious Knight News Challenge grant to develop InformaCam, the first mobile app seeking to enrich metadata in order to address issues of authentication for digital media.

InformaCam deliberately turns on your mobile device’s sensors to track GPS directionality, wi-fi and related devices nearby so that you can enhance information about the context surrounding the capture of the image. You can also choose to insert additional data, such as consent of people filmed. The app allows you to securely share it in encrypted format with someone you trust – for example, a news organization or human rights investigation team. They can then confirm that the image and its embedded metadata have come from a specific user, camera, time and place.

For more technical information about the app and how it works read this blog post.