ImageAlly: A Human-AI Hybrid Approach to Support Blind People in Detecting and Redacting Private Image Content


Zhuohao (Jerry) Zhang, University of Washington, Seattle; Smirity Kaushik and JooYoung Seo, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Haolin Yuan, Johns Hopkins University; Sauvik Das, Carnegie Mellon University; Leah Findlater, University of Washington, Seattle; Danna Gurari, University of Colorado Boulder; Abigale Stangl, University of Washington, Seattle; Yang Wang, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Many people who are blind take and post photos to share about their lives and connect with others. Yet, current technology does not provide blind people with accessible ways to handle when private information is unintentionally captured in their images. To explore the technology design in supporting them with this task, we developed a design probe for blind people — ImageAlly — that employs a human-AI hybrid approach to detect and redact private image content. ImageAlly notifies users when potential private information is detected in their images, using computer vision, and enables them to transfer those images to trusted sighted allies to edit the private content. In an exploratory study with pairs of blind participants and their sighted allies, we found that blind people felt empowered by ImageAlly to prevent privacy leakage in sharing images on social media. They also found other benefits from using ImageAlly, such as potentially improving their relationship with allies and giving allies the awareness of the accessibility challenges they face.

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@inproceedings {289496,
author = {Zhuohao (Jerry) Zhang and Smirity Kaushik and JooYoung Seo and Haolin Yuan and Sauvik Das and Leah Findlater and Danna Gurari and Abigale Stangl and Yang Wang},
title = {{ImageAlly}: A {Human-AI} Hybrid Approach to Support Blind People in Detecting and Redacting Private Image Content},
booktitle = {Nineteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2023)},
year = {2023},
isbn = {978-1-939133-36-6},
address = {Anaheim, CA},
pages = {417--436},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

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