C2PA Releases Specification of World’s First Industry Standard For Content Provenance

The Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), an organization established to provide publishers, creators, and consumers with opt-in, flexible ways to understand the authenticity and provenance across various media types, released version 1.0 of its technical specification for digital provenance.

This specification, C2PA says, “is the first of its kind and empowers content creators and editors worldwide to create tamper-evident media, by enabling them to selectively disclose information about who created or changed digital content and how it was altered. The C2PA’s work is the result of industry-wide collaborations focused on digital media transparency that will accelerate progress toward global adoption of content provenance.”

Given the deluge of digital content and rapidly advancing technology, it is challenging for consumers to trust what they see online. Deceptive content, such as deepfakes generated by artificial intelligence or more traditionally manipulated media, can be indistinguishable from the real thing, so establishing the provenance of media is critical to ensure transparency, understanding, and trust. This C2PA specification will provide platforms with a method to define what information is associated with each type of asset (e.g., images, videos, audio or documents), how that information is presented and stored, and how evidence of tampering can be identified.

As an open standard, it is designed to be adopted by any software, device, or online platform as well as by regulatory bodies and government agencies to establish standards for digital provenance.

“Today’s announcement marks a significant step toward addressing the rise in disinformation and facilitating trust online,” said Leonard Rosenthol, chair of the C2PA Technical Working Group and senior principal scientist, Adobe. “As the C2PA pursues the implementation of open digital provenance standards, broad adoption, prototyping and communication from coalition members and other external stakeholders will be critical to establish a system of verifiable integrity on the internet.”

The C2PA was launched in February 2021 with founding members Adobe,Arm, BBC, Intel, Microsoft and Truepic, and has since expanded with additional members including Akamai, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Fastly,Twitter, WITNESS and others. This specification is informed by scenarios, workflows, and requirements gathered from industry experts, community feedback and partner organizations, including the Project Origin Alliance and the Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI).


Following the release of its draft specification in September 2021, the C2PA went through a deliberate and thorough community review and feedback period to finalize the specification and ensure it reflects the complex nature of this effort. It is designed to enable global, opt-in adoption of digital provenance techniques through the creation of a rich ecosystem of digital provenance-enabled hardware and software for various individuals and organizations while meeting appropriate security requirements.

Moving forward, the C2PA remains focused on ensuring that the specification is used in ways that respect privacy and personal control of data with a critical eye toward potential abuse and misuse. More details are available here. Ongoing public feedback on the C2PA’s technical specification can be submitted online and organizations interested in joining the C2PA can learn more through its website.

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