TechXplore – Online News “A strategy to discern between real and virtual video conferencing backgrounds”

Our recent invistigation published at the Tech Xplore online news. 

Collaborators: Ehsan Nowroozi, Yassine Mekdad, Mauro Conti, Simone Milani, Berrin Yanikoglu, and Selcuk Uluagac


Video-conferencing platforms such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet allow people to communicate remotely with others in different parts of the world. The COVID-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures that followed led to a further rise in the use of these platforms, as it increased remote working and virtual collaborations. Most video-conferencing platforms now also allow users to use virtual backgrounds, so that they don’t need to show their home environments to their co-workers and to reduce the risk of distractions. These virtual background can be i) real (current), ii) virtual (e.g., a seaside landscape or ), and iii) fake, which is a real but not current background. While being able to change the background increases users’ privacy, fake backgrounds can also be used with malicious intent, to give the impression of a false location, for instance suggesting that a user is at the office when he is actually at home……

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