Adobe shows off prototype version of its Content Authenticity tool and ecosystem

In addition to its Lightroom and Photoshop updates, adobe has also revealed a prototype of its Content Authenticity Prototype, a key new tool that will play a key role in Adobe’s Content Authenticity Initiative first unveiled a year ago at Adobe MAX 2019.

A screenshot from the video showing the ‘Content Credentials’ toolset in the beta version of Adobe Photoshop.

As the above video demonstrates, the new opt-in tool provides a way for photojournalists, artists and other creatives to cyptographically sign and embed editing and attribution information to images that have been adjusted or altered in Photoshop (and presumably other Adobe programs). Creators can choose to include as little or as much data as they would like and export that information with the image(s).

A screenshot from the header video showing what information will be embedded with the edited image upon export from Photoshop.

When the image(s) are uploaded to websites with CAI compatibility, viewers will be able to see exactly who captured the image, what edits were made, what assets were used and more. Adobe is even launching a dedicated site ( that will serve as an original database of sorts to see every detail of every change made and asset used.

The website will break down the signed metadata for each asset used.

Currently, the prototype will only be available to a select group of beta testers. Eventually, we can expect the tool to roll out to the masses, but even then, adoption will come to be the greatest barrier to Adobe’s efforts to keep authenticity at the forefront of digital content creation.

Adobe says it’s working with ‘The New York Times Company, Twitter, Inc., Microsoft, BBC, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Truepic, WITNESS, CBC and many others,’ but it’s honest about what it will take to get the masses to adopt such attribution technology as the norm:

‘We believe attribution will create a virtuous cycle. The more creators distribute content with proper attribution, the more consumers will expect and use that information to make judgement calls, thus minimizing the influence of bad actors and deceptive content. Ultimately, a holistic solution that includes attribution, detection and education to provide a common and shared understanding of objective facts is essential to help us make more thoughtful decisions when consuming media. Today is a huge leap forward for the CAI, but this is just the beginning.’

While the companies Adobe is already working with are certainly leaders in their respective spheres, there are plenty of other agencies and organizations that will need to hop onboard the CAI train to truly make this a ubiquitous standard that’s the rule instead of the exception. Media empire Gannett, for example, would be a great opportunity, as the company owns over 90 daily newspapers, nearly 1,000 weekly newspapers and almost two dozen television stations. Getty, AP and others are obvious candidates as well.

You can keep up with the latest CAI developments on the Adobe Blog and the Content Authenticity website.