Hany Farid

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Hany Farid
Alma materUniversity of Rochester
SUNY Albany
University of Pennsylvania
AwardsAlfred P. Sloan Fellowship
Guggenheim Fellowship
Scientific career
FieldsComputer vision
Digital forensics
Dartmouth College
UC Berkeley
Stanford University
ThesisRange Estimation by Optical Differentiation (1997)
Doctoral advisorEero Simoncelli

Hany Farid is an American university professor who specializes in the analysis of digital images, Dean and Head of School for the UC Berkeley School of Information.[1] In addition to teaching, writing, and conducting research, Farid acts as a consultant for non-profits, government agencies, and news organizations. He is the author of the book Photo Forensics.[2]


Farid specializes in image analysis and human perception. He has been called the "father" of digital image forensics by NOVA scienceNOW.[3][4] He is the recipient of a 2006 Guggenheim Fellowship and a 2002 Sloan Fellowship for his work in the field.[5] Farid was named a lifetime fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2016.[6][7]

University positions[edit]

In January 2021, Hany Farid is appointed Associate Dean and Head of School for the School of Information.[1] He remains professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and the School of Information. He is also a member of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Lab, the Center for Innovation in Vision and Optics, and the Vision Science program.[8]

Prior to joining Berkeley, Farid was the Albert Bradley 1915 Third Century Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College[9] and former chair of Dartmouth's Neukom Institute for Computational Science. Farid was well-known at Dartmouth for teaching the college's introductory course on programming and computer science. Joseph Helble, dean of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, described Farid as a pioneer in the field of digital forensics. Farid joined Dartmouth's faculty in 1999. He remained at Dartmouth until 2019.[10]

Consulting and media appearances[edit]

Farid has consulted for intelligence agencies, news organizations, courts, and scientific journals seeking to authenticate the validity of images.[11][12][13] This is critically important because graphics programs, such as Photoshop, are frequently used to crop and to label figures in scientific publications. Such manipulations can be used to alter or disguise the data. In 2009, after digitally analyzing a photograph of Lee Harvey Oswald holding a rifle and newspaper, Farid published his findings[14] concluding that "the photo almost certainly was not altered".[15] When the 2013 World Press Photo of the Year was alleged as being "fake", Farid spoke out against the allegation and criticized its underlying method, error level analysis.[16]

As of 2018, Farid was a consultant for the Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, and the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency.


PhotoDNA is a system that uses robust hashing technology Farid worked on with Microsoft, which is "now widely used by Internet companies to stop the spread of content showing sexual exploitation or pornography involving children." In late 2015, Farid completed improvements to PhotoDNA that made it capable of analyzing video and audio files besides still images. In 2016, Farid proposed that the technology could be used to stem the spread of terror-related imagery, but there was little interest shown initially by social media companies.[17] In December 2016, Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft announced plans to use PhotoDNA to tackle extremist content such as terrorist recruitment videos or violent terrorist imagery,[18] which was done e.g. to automatically remove al Qaeda videos.[19]

Counter Extremism Project[edit]

In June 2016, Farid, as a senior advisor to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), unveiled a software tool for use by Internet and social media companies to "quickly find and eliminate extremist content used to spread and incite violence and attacks." It functions similarly to PhotoDNA.[20][21][22]

To operationalize this new technology to combat extremism, Farid and CEP proposed the creation of a National Office for Reporting Extremism (NORex), which would house a comprehensive database of extremist content and function similar to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children .[23][24]


In the fall of 2018, Truepic acquired Farid's start-up, Fourandsix Technologies. Farid started Fourandsix Technologies with Kevin Connor, a former vice president at Adobe Systems. The first product released by Fourandsix was called Fourmatch. Fourmatch was designed to detect alterations of digital images. The primary use of Fourmatch was to check the authenticity of images introduced as evidence in court.[25]

As of February 2019, Farid was an advisor to Truepic.[26]


Farid received his undergraduate degree in computer science and applied mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1989. He earned a M.S. in computer science from SUNY/Albany in 1992. His Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Pennsylvania was awarded in 1997. In 1999, Farid completed a two-year post-doctoral program in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[5]


Farid is married to the neuroscientist Emily Cooper. Cooper, also a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, studies human vision and virtual reality.[27] Cooper met Farid when he spent a sabbatical from Dartmouth at Berkeley.[28]



  • H. Farid. Fake Photos, MIT Press, Essential Knowledge Series, 2019.
  • H. Farid. Photo Forensics, MIT Press, 2016.

Selected technical papers[edit]

  • Farid, H. A Survey of Image Forgery Detection, IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, 26:2 (2009) 16-25.[29]
  • Farid, H. Digital Image Forensics, Scientific American, 298:6 (2008) 66-71.[29]
  • Johnson, M K and H Farid, Exposing Digital Forgeries in Complex Lighting Environments, IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, 2:3 (2007) 450-461.[29]
  • Johnson, M K and H Farid, Exposing Digital Forgeries Through Specular Highlights on the Eye, 9th International Workshop on Information Hiding, Saint Malo, France (2007).[29]
  • Lyu, S, D Rockmore, and H Farid, A Digital Technique for Art Authentication, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 101:49 (2004) 17006-17010.[29]

Selected opinion pieces[edit]

  • Deepfakes Give New Meaning to the Concept of 'fake news,' and They're Here to Stay, Fox News , 18 June 2019.
  • Facebook's Plan for End-to-End Encryption Sacrifices a Lot of Security for Just a Little Bit of Privacy, Fox News, June 2016.
  • Tech Companies Must Act to Stop Horrific Exploitation of their Platforms, The Hill, 17 April 2019
  • Facebook, YouTube and Social Media are Failing Society: Pull their ads until they change, USA Today, 4 March 2019
  • Recruiting Terrorists: We’re losing the fight against online extremism – here’s why, The Hill, 2 August 2018
  • Verifying BigTech Promises, EUReporter, 11 May 2018


  1. ^ a b "Hany Farid Appointed Associate Dean and Head of School". UC Berkeley School of Information. UC Berkeley. Retrieved 3 April 2021.
  2. ^ Staff (4 November 2016). Photo Forensics-+9. The MIT Press. The MIT Press. ISBN 9780262035347. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Profile: Hany Farid at NOVA scienceNOW". PBS. June 2008. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  4. ^ Morris, Errol (August 11, 2008). "Photography as a Weapon". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  5. ^ a b "Hany Farid - John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation". 2006. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  6. ^ Blumberg, Joseph. "Hany Farid Honored by the National Academy of Inventors". Dartmouth News. Office of Communications, Dartmouth College. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Fellows List". National Academy of Inventors. National Academy of Inventors. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  8. ^ Craypo, Eric. "Professor Hany Farid Joins Vision Science Faculty". Berkeley Vision Science. UC Berkeley. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Featured Faculty Member: Hany Farid". UC Berkeley School of Information. Retrieved 2019-08-06.
  10. ^ Mihaly, Abigail (23 April 2018). "Computer science professor Hany Farid to leave College for Berkeley". The Dartmouth. Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  11. ^ Dreifus, Claudia (October 2, 2007). "Proving That Seeing Shouldn't Always Be Believing". The New York Times. Retrieved 21 January 2010.
  12. ^ "Anwar, Eskay Seen At Apartment Lobby". Archived from the original on 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2011-06-25.
  13. ^ US Experts Confirmed Anwar as Man in Video, Court Told.
  14. ^ Farid, H (2009). "The Lee Harvey Oswald backyard photos: real or fake?". Perception. 38 (11): 1731–1734. doi:10.1068/p6580. PMID 20120271. S2CID 12062689. Archived from the original on 2010-10-10. Retrieved 2010-02-08.
  15. ^ Dartmouth Professor finds that iconic Oswald photo was not faked. Archived 2012-01-18 at the Wayback Machine 11/05/09.
  16. ^ Steadman, Ian (2013-05-16). "'Fake' World Press Photo isn't fake, is lesson in need for forensic restraint". Wired UK. Retrieved 2015-09-11.
  17. ^ Waddell, Kveh (June 22, 2016). "A Tool to Delete Beheading Videos Before They Even Appear Online". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Partnering to Help Curb Spread of Online Terrorist Content | Facebook Newsroom". Retrieved 2016-12-06.
  19. ^ Richard Allan of Facebook (2018-06-18). "Hearing at 11:15". {{cite news}}: |author= has generic name (help) in "The EU's horizontal regulatory framework for illegal content removal in the DSM".
  20. ^ "Software unveiled to tackle online extremism, violence". AFP. June 17, 2016.
  21. ^ "A Tool to Delete Beheading Videos Before They Even Appear Online". The Atlantic. June 22, 2016.
  22. ^ "Suppressing Extremist Speech: There's an Algorithm for That!". Foreign Policy. June 17, 2016.
  23. ^ "There's a new tool to take down terrorism images online. But social-media companies are wary of it". The Washington Post. June 21, 2016.
  24. ^ "How to Stop the Next Viral Jihadi Video". Defense One. June 17, 2016.
  25. ^ Shankland, Stephen (18 September 2012). "Fourandsix releases image-authenticator software". CNET. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  26. ^ McCorvey, J.J. (19 February 2019). "This image-authentication startup is combating faux social media accounts, doctored photos, deep fakes, and more". Fast Company. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  27. ^ Rothman, Joshua (5 November 2018). "In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  28. ^ Henderson, Rachel (28 November 2018). "PhD program alum Emily Cooper returns to Berkeley as faculty, studying vision in the real world and applying it to virtual worlds". Berkeley Neuroscience. Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  29. ^ a b c d e "Hany Farid - Dartmouth Faculty Directory". Dartmouth College. Archived from the original on 27 June 2010. Retrieved 21 January 2010.

External links[edit]