Have you ever posted a picture online and wished you could blur or pixelate part of the image before doing so?

As a workshop moderator, I love to take pictures. I love to capture the energy of the room. But before posting the pictures online, I need to get everyone who is recognizable to agree for me to do so. I also need to remove any sensitive data, like post-its or client's names. This is a hassle.

Take this panorama picture of a roadmap workshop I ran with a client back in 2019. The leftmost whiteboard was very readable. And at least half a dozen people were identifiable on the picture:

Workshop room picture in with some parts are blurred.

I've used many apps to do this in the past, but none really suited my fire-and-forget needs. I needed an app:

  • able to recognize faces automatically
  • with which I could blur such a picture in less than 30 seconds
  • without any clutter, ads, or such non-sense
  • without any in-app purchase, watermark, etc.
  • that I could trust

I pitched this to my colleague Thomas Künneth, who leads the Mobile Department at MATHEMA, and he told me that he had just hired two new iOS & Android developers who didn't have client obligations yet. So in the last few weeks/months, we rolled up our sleeves and created PrivacyBlur.

Here's the description of the app on the AppStores:

PrivacyBlur does one thing only and does it well: blur or pixelate areas of your images with a few finger taps. Hide kids, faces, documents, numbers, names, etc., from your pictures in mere seconds. With PrivacyBlur at your side, you can share your pictures online without second thoughts. No in-app purchases. No ads. No watermark. No hassle. Free forever because privacy shouldn't cost anything. Free because we care!

Here's what the interface looks like:

As you can see, very few options (blur/pixelate, circle/square, size, grain, face detection), no clutter. It just works! As I dreamt it. Thanks, Thomas, Leonid, and Pirmin!

Note: the face detection algorithm uses the Vision API from the Google ML Kit. But all of this happens offline. The app doesn't need any internet connection, nor does it send any data to Google.

Available right now for free:

Let me know what you think of the app!

Photo by Alex Knight on Unsplash