Data Obfuscation in Custom Certificate Template

OpenCerts allow users to take control of what type of data they will like to share with others. For instance, a student can choose to share only the certificate and hide his transcript if he is only required to submit a proof of graduation.

To facilitate this, certificate templates can expose this function to their users. Developers of the certificate templates will have discretion on the granularity of the controls. For instance, a button can be created to hide the entire transcript or a delete button can be added to each field to remove only one value.

Example - Default Certificate

Data Obfuscation in Default Certificate

To enable editing, click on the edit button on the banner.

To obfuscate values from the transcript, click on the red crosses beside the individual values in the transcript.

The new certificate with obfuscated values can be downloaded with the download button above the “View another” button.

Implementing Privacy Filter


This is the privacy banner that allows the user to toggle the editable state.

import React from "react";
import PropTypes from "prop-types";
import { FontAwesomeIcon } from "@fortawesome/react-fontawesome";
import { faEdit } from "@fortawesome/free-solid-svg-icons";

const SimplePrivacyFilterBanner = ({ toggleEditable }) => (
  <div id="banner-privacy-filter" className="screen-only">
    <div className="row">
        <div className="h4">OpenCerts Privacy Filter Enabled</div>
          Edit this certificate by removing sensitive information by clicking on
          the edit button. Downloaded certificate remains valid!
        onClick={toggleEditable} // function to toggle the state to enable/disable editing
        <FontAwesomeIcon icon={faEdit} cursor="pointer" />

SimplePrivacyFilterBanner.propTypes = {
  toggleEditable: PropTypes.func

export default SimplePrivacyFilterBanner;


The handleObfuscation function is passed as a prop into this component and obfuscates the corresponding field if the editable state is true.

import React from "react";
import PropTypes from "prop-types";
import css from "./obfuscatableValueStyles.scss";
import { FontAwesomeIcon } from "@fortawesome/react-fontawesome";
import { faTimes } from "@fortawesome/free-solid-svg-icons";

const ObfuscatableValue = ({ field, value, handleObfuscation, editable }) =>
  value ? (
      onClick={() => {
        if (editable) {
      {value}{" "}
      {editable && (
  ) : null;

ObfuscatableValue.propTypes = {
  field: PropTypes.string,
  value: PropTypes.oneOfType([PropTypes.string, PropTypes.number]),
  handleObfuscation: PropTypes.func,
  editable: PropTypes.bool

export default ObfuscatableValue;

Using the handleObfuscation method

To enable the privacy filter for your certificate, ensure that handleObfuscation method is passed into the template you want to enable obfuscation when registering the certificate template. This will pass the handleObfuscation method into your certificate template which can be used to obfuscate data on the certificate. An example is shown below:


class Template extends Component {
  constructor(props) {
    this.state = { editable: false };

  render() {
    const { editable } = this.state;
    const { document, handleObfuscation } = this.props;
    /// Other information below

Using the ObfuscateValue component is easy. Passing in the path of the data you like to remove will remove that value or all elements in that object.

render() {
   // Other information above
    const transcriptData = get(document, "transcript", []);

    const transcriptSection =, i) => (
      <tr key={i}>
          <ObfuscatableValue />

    return (
      <div className="container">
          toggleEditable={() => this.setState({ editable: !editable })}
      {transcriptSection} // Data with obfuscation enabled passed in here

The full source code example can be found in our transcript.js file for our OpenCerts demo certificate here.

Code References

The implementation of data obfuscation for the demo certificate can be found at

Design Recommendation

Use Stateful Component

Having a stateful component which tracks if the certificate is editable will allow two different views of the certificate.

In the default certificate example, we can see it tracking the editable state. When the editable flag is set, red crosses will appear beside values that the user can obfuscate. When it is not, the certificate appears to be a normal static certificate.

Reuse & Contribute to Common Template Components

During the design of the default certificate, the ObfuscatableValue and SimplePrivacyFilterBanner is created to be reused for other certificates.

The SimplePrivacyFilterBanner component tells the user that the certificate is editable, allow them to toggle the editable state, and disappear upon print.

The ObfuscatableValue component is a helper function to easily create values that can be removed.

We recommend the use of these components. Should they not fulfill the use case, contribution to the common components found in src/components/TemplateCommon/Privacy is welcomed.

Understanding the Data Obfuscation Process

Obfuscated Data Hashed in Privacy

During data obfuscation, data in the certificate is replaced with an irreversible hash and stored in the privacy.obfuscatedData section of the new .opencert file.

Storing it in the hashed format allows the certificate’s targetHash to remain unchanged and prevents reverse engineering of the value (even through rainbow table attacks).