As demonstrations against police brutality and racial injustice continue around the country, apps that blur faces and delete metadata have become a necessary part of any protester’s tool set. Such apps prevent unwanted surveillance and tracking of those in the images and the photographers snapping the shots.
There’s open-source software that can do this for you on any platform, but iPhone users can now blur faces and strip metadata from images with a single tap in the iOS Shortcuts app. All you need to do is install the new “Blur Faces” shortcut from developer Noah Conk.
How to install and use the Blur Faces iOS shortcut
- Go to Settings > Shortcuts
- Turn on “Allow Untrusted Shortcuts.”
- Tap “Allow” in the popup window.
- Enter your password when prompted.
- Back out of the Settings menu and then open this link in Safari.
- Tap “Add Untrusted Shortcut” to install the shortcut.
- Once the installation is done, open the shortcuts app.
- Tap the “Blur Faces” shortcut to run it for the first time, then grant it permissions to send data to a URL.
The shortcut is now installed and configured, and you can use it a few different ways:
- Shortcuts app: Open the Shortcuts app. Find and tap the “Blur Faces” shortcut. Select the photo and let the app do its thing.
- Shortcuts widget panel: Tap “Blur faces” in the Shortcuts widget panel and select the photo(s) you want to process.
- Share menu: Take a photo with your iPhone’s camera app or highlight an image already saved on your phone. Scroll down in the share window and tap “Blur faces.”
Each method runs the same process and pops out a new copy of the photo with all time, location and device information removed, and the faces blurred. After the new version of the photo is saved, it should be safe to upload to social media without risking your privacy or that of anyone in the photo.