Visible watermarks on photos are pretty common, and we’re sure that many of you guys have seen them all over the internet (we watermark our photos in our reviews as well). These watermarks are meant to be an identifier as to who it belongs it, and also to prevent them from being used and claimed as someone else’s.

However could there be a better way to watermark our photos? According to Google, there is, and it is simply because it is extremely easy to remove watermarks from photos which the company has demonstrated in the video above using a computer algorithm. This means that should the person know how the algorithm works or comes up with something similar, visible watermarks will become effectively useless.

Google points to the fact that one of the reasons why visible watermarks can be removed is because of the consistency of its placement, like in the center of an image, at the corner, and so on. “We show that this consistency can be used to invert the watermarking process — that is, estimate the watermark image and its opacity, and recover the original, watermark-free image underneath.”

To make them more effective, Google has suggested that introducing random geometric perturbations, basically subtly warping it, makes it harder for it to be removed. So the next time you plan on watermarking your photos/images, that could be something worth considering.

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