Public Record is a decentralized app that provides a public, censorship-proof, immutable photographic record organized by sentiment, location and time.

What is Public Record

Public Record provides a simple, permanent, immutable, perpetual, 100% anonymous way to share photos with date/time/location/sentiment context that is impervious to the whims of individuals, governments or corporations.

It is useful for...

  • Citizens participating in political rallies
  • Citizens documenting law enforcement actions
  • Understanding sentiment trends over time on a global scale
  • Journalists reporting from areas of unrest
  • Citizens interested in knowing what happened at a particular place on a specific date/time
  • Citizens monitoring developments during breaking news
  • Law enforcement monitoring a location where criminals or assailants pose a threat to public safety

What problem does Public Record solve?

There are many ways to publicly share photos on the Internet. In general, people do not have a problem with having their identity linked to a photo. If they don’t want their identity known, they create an anonymous account. BUT… anonymity on commercially owned photo services is an illusion. The user can be tracked by LEO if the owner of the service is willing to cooperate. At times of civil unrest, or in countries where there are oppressive regimes, this could mean imprisonment, torture or death.

Many services to share photos anonymously exist, but they all have one or more of the same issues:

  • transient because they rely on hosting paid for by an individual or entity;
  • mutable;
  • not perpetual;
  • requiring some technical knowledge and caution to remain anonymous, and even then, pseudonymous.

How does Public Record work?

Public Record starts with the desire of a person to permanently create a photographic record of an event. With a simple user interface, they upload a photo while specifying the degree of anonymization desired. Public Record then does the following:

  • Strips the photo of all meta data
  • Using machine learning, it detects the expressions of all people in the photo and gives it a sentiment score
  • Uploads the photo to the decentralized Inter-planetary File System (IPFS)
  • Adds the IPFS hash and anonymized metadata to an Ethereum Smart Contract

The photo then becomes permanently available and discoverable via the Public Record dapp (which itself resides on IPFS making it impervious to takedown). Users can see sentiment trends over time across the globe, and explore events by time or location.

Challenges we ran into

We had two challenges:

  • We didn't learn about the hackathon until five days ago, so we had to really put the pedal to the metal to get this solution built.
  • Since the Javascript libraries for TF2.0 are not available, we followed the "Eligibility" instructions on the home page of the hackathon and built upon existing libraries.

Accomplishments that we are proud of

We are extremely proud of the dapp we have built. It has many complex pieces, but we have successfully combined them with a user interface that is easy to use and demonstrates empathy for users. All the complexity is under the hood. We are optimistic that the ability to see sentiment trends over times and regions will help us with our understanding of our world. But the thing we are most proud of is that we have harnessed the power of two cutting-edge technologies to make a positive impact on the world and ensure that people everywhere can share photos of oppression, abuse, violence and dehumanization without fear of repercussions.

What's next for Public Record

Our goal is to make Public Record production-ready and deploy it for the world. Our team has created TryCrypto, a free, Open Source, volunteer project to publish content and tools that make blockchain and cryptocurrency more accessible for mainstream users. Public Record is just the first of more solutions we intend to build and publish.

In time, Public Record will become a powerful tool in the hands of the world's citizens.

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