Finally, an encrypted camera!

After having the idea many years ago, and seeing nothing on the market, I've been working towards creating a camera that encrypts the photos after taking them.  After Samsung released the NX300, and after it had been easily rooted, I bought one.  It's a nice well-rounded camera in a reasonable price range.  It runs Linux, and is somewhat open-sourced by Samsung.  I knew this was my opportunity to implement my idea.

With my tailored firmware, photos are saved using public key / private key encryption after a quick preview.  Whoever holds the private key can unlock the photos.  This doesn't need to be the photographer.  (See the Scenarios section below for possible uses.)

Security Note:  Since the proprietary Samsung code saves the original photos to the card, a tech-savvy person could recover them using an "undelete" utility.  (My script encrypts them afterwards and deletes the original.)  If you want a truly secure camera, please bug the camera manufacturers for this feature.

Coming Soon:  The next version will no longer be susceptible to "undelete".  It'll have far better security, and a better interface, but with some limitations.  Stay tuned!
Update:  How much interest is there for this new version?  If anyone is waiting, I could finish it up this fall/winter.  (But as always, I do have other projects going.)

To understand how it all works, please read the How-To page.
To get started, hit the Install page and Downloads.

Currently, the tailored firmware is only available for the NX300.  Other NX cameras have similar firmware, but I don't have a physical camera to test with.  If you have a strong interest and are willing to put beta firmware on your camera, let me know. (hickokd@gmail.com)

  • Hire a photographer for pictures, but prevent them from keeping a copy.  Useful for:
    • Photographing secure or secret corporate/government locations.  The government or corporation hold the key and provide the locked camera.  Pictures cannot be viewed or decrypted without the key.
    • Instances where the model(s)/subject(s) want the pictures themselves.  They obtain the key prior to shooting.
    • Instances where the photographer should not retain rights to the photos.  The rights-holder obtains the key prior to shooting.
  • Approve or screen photos prior to delivery.  Useful for:
    • Places which typically have a "no cameras" policy.  A locked camera could be rented, with all photos being approved by management prior to delivering to the photographer.  (In this case, it's a good idea to paint or mark the camera to indicate it's a secure one.)  Management holds the key, unlocks the photos afterwards, and deletes any they don't approve of.
    • Wives who let husbands take candid photos of them.  The wife holds the key.
  • Keep dangerous or compromising photos secure.  Useful for:
    • Photographers in dangerous locations, where cameras can get stolen and pictures can do damage if publicly released.  The photographer would keep the key in a safe place back home.
    • Protecting your privacy.  If your camera is stolen, you don't need to worry about what pictures might be on it.