How to hide from Big Brother: Designer’s make-up tips on tricking face-recognition software (and still look good while doing it)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2137201/How-hide-Big-Brother-Designers-tips-tricking-face-recognition-software-look-good-doing-it.html

By Hugo Gye

PUBLISHED: 00:42 EST, 30 April 2012 | UPDATED: 06:34 EST, 30 April 2012

In a world of ever-expanding surveillance, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to escape the clutches of security cameras.

But one designer has issued advice on how to keep yourself hidden from the ‘Big Brother’ organisations which now film many public areas and police internet.

And he insists it is possible to keep away from prying eyes while remaining stylishly dressed.

 
Contrast: One way of avoiding surveillance software is to paint a geometric 'anti-face' on one's cheeks

Contrast: One way of avoiding surveillance software is to paint a geometric ‘anti-face’ on one’s cheeks

 

A number of surveillance programmes now rely on being able to recognise an image of the human face using automated technology.

This is used for entirely innocent ends by photo-sharing websites such as Facebook which allow users to ‘tag’ themselves and others in the images they upload.

But it could also be used by governments to identify criminals or even protesters, and it also has huge potential for advertisers to personalise their commercials.

Now designer Adam Harvey is fighting back by educating people in how to avoid being detected by face-recognition software, according to CNN.

 
Trick: Covering the eyes and making the face less symmetrical are other possible techniques to fool automatic software

Trick: Covering the eyes and making the face less symmetrical are other possible techniques to fool automatic software

 

He says the key is to identify the areas of the face most commonly used as a shortcut by computer programmes.

For example, computers find it relatively easy to read the ‘nose bridge’, the area between the eyes – so Mr Harvey recommends obscuring that area with make-up or a long lock of hair.

Software also tends to seek out symmetry in a human face, so making one side of the face look different to the other is one way to trick the computer.

A particularly innovative technique used by Mr Harvey is the ‘anti-face’, adding black-and-white triangles to the cheeks to invert normal facial patterns.

 
Inspiration: This 'dazzle' camouflage was used on American ships during World War I

Inspiration: This ‘dazzle’ camouflage was used on American ships during World War I

 

The 30-year-old fashionista told CNN his intention was to ‘touch on a subject that people are still trying to figure out, which is how to adapt to living in surveillance societies, where not only are you being watched by government surveillance but by citizen surveillance and social-media-type surveillance.’

He wants those following his tips to stay trendy, however, and his website shows a variety of aesthetically pleasing ways to opt out of face-recognition technology.

The project is called CV Dazzle, a reference to the zebra-pattern ‘dazzle’ camouflage developed by ships during World War I to evade submarine warfare.

 
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Posted on April 30, 2012, in Science / Technology and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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