Active measures, such as chargebacks to business units based on image storage policies, should therefore be invoked to create appropriate incentives. Batch processing for image format conversion and compression, built into many image management tools but also capable of being deployed on a larger scale, should be employed to make storage more efficient. Appropriate usage rules should be established and automatically applied to meet image-quality constraints for different applications and to avoid breaking chains of evidence in legal or medical settings. Archival policies of removing imagery to lower-cost offline media should be developed and automated. Image data should be specifically and robustly protected from accidental and deliberate alteration or misuse. Tools and skills that were once the domain of graphic arts and photography professionals are now everyday conveniences, and the value to be gained by altering an image may now far outweigh the cost. Watermarking and authentication methods and tools should therefore be part of every workflow that includes primary image datathat is, data inherently incapable of being reacquired or independently validated at a later date.Technology Editor Peter Coffees e-mail address is email@example.com.
If it were literally true that a picture is worth a thousand words, then a 24-exposure roll of film would represent only about 170KB of storageabout the same capacity, oddly enough, as one of the single-sided floppy disks of the original IBM PC. Our notion of personal storage has mushroomed since that August 1981 hardware debut to the tens of gigabytes of an iPod or similar device, increasing at a staggering compound rate of more than 65 percent per year. Theres no end in sightand that means ITs stewards must do better than just piling up the pixels. They must take an active role in sorting image content with an eye on its value to the enterprise.