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Sat Sep 21, 2019, 09:41 PM

How to Thwart Facial Recognition

How to Thwart Facial Recognition


By Malia Wollan

July 30, 2019

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/30/magazine/how-to-thwart-facial-recognition.html

“Why not give the camera what it wants, which is a face?” says Leonardo Selvaggio, an interdisciplinary artist. Just don’t give it your face. To enable people to obfuscate facial-recognition software programs, Selvaggio, who is 34 and white, made available 3-D, photo-realistic prosthetic masks of his own face to anyone who wants one. He tested the masks by asking people connected to him on Facebook to upload pictures of themselves in the prosthetic: It didn’t matter if they were skinny women or barrel-chested men; short or tall; black, brown, Asian or white — the social network’s facial-recognition software recognized them as Selvaggio. “There’s nothing more invisible to surveillance and security technology than a white man,” he says.

Selvaggio thought up the project, which he calls URME Surveillance, when he was living in Chicago, where law-enforcement officials have access to more than 30,000 interlinked video cameras across the city. He wanted to start conversations about surveillance and what technology does with our identity. He knew that researchers have found that facial-recognition software exhibits racial biases. The programs are often best at identifying white and male faces, because they have been trained on data sets that include disproportionate numbers of them, and particularly bad at identifying black faces. In law-enforcement contexts, these errors can potentially implicate people in crimes they didn’t commit.

Selvaggio sees two routes to elude facial-recognition programs. The first is to disappear: go offline and off the grid. Selvaggio prefers the second option, which is to flood the system with weird, incongruous data. Wear someone else’s likeness or lend out your own. (Before donning a prosthetic mask, check to see whether your city or state has anti-mask laws, which may make wearing one illegal.) Even without a mask, though, you can confuse some facial-recognition programs by obscuring parts of your face with makeup, costuming, hairdos and infrared light. Artificial-intelligence programs look for elliptical, symmetrical faces, so obscure an eye, cover the bridge of your nose, wear something that makes your head look unheadlike. “They have all of our information,” Selvaggio says. “So then let’s make more information that isn’t even true, and then let’s make more information on top of that.”

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply How to Thwart Facial Recognition (Original post)
marble falls Sep 2019 OP
TreasonousBastard Sep 2019 #1
marble falls Sep 2019 #5
VarryOn Sep 2019 #2
Glorfindel Sep 2019 #3
VarryOn Sep 2019 #4
marble falls Sep 2019 #6
VarryOn Sep 2019 #7
DemocracyMouse Sep 2019 #8
marble falls Sep 2019 #9

Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sat Sep 21, 2019, 10:22 PM

1. Their algorithms should account for such things as hair and makeup, but after...

dealing with beards, bangs and lipstick, there are basic shapes, like eyes and noses, they must recognize.

So, could they be fooled by temporary noses, chins, and Vulcan ears? Eyes are tough without surgery, but some sort of quick fix to eyelids and eyeballs should be possible by a good costume artist.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 21, 2019, 11:28 PM

5. Add a third eye or maybe a bindi?

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sat Sep 21, 2019, 10:40 PM

2. The one place facial recognition should be allowed is....

Upon coming into the country. Apply the hell out of it at airports and at the border. But, inside the country it should be illegal.

My comings and goings and traveling about should be no one's business.

We are being too lacks about protecting our privacy.

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Response to VarryOn (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 21, 2019, 10:54 PM

3. "to lacks"?

Catchy turn of phrase, that.

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Response to Glorfindel (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 21, 2019, 11:06 PM

4. Touchez...

As I was typing it, I mentally debated with myself whether it was "lax" or "lacks." I paused but then was TOO lazy to look it up. Not only did I use the wrong word, but I misuse "to."



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Response to VarryOn (Reply #2)

Sat Sep 21, 2019, 11:31 PM

6. Nah. How do we get the ID data about non Americans? Too open for abuse.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #6)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 12:12 AM

7. We get ID data and/or pics on some of the bad guys from other governments...

I'd hope facial recognition would aid our customs and border folks with pointing them out for extra scrutiny. Now, I suspect we dont have ID data on a lot of the bad folks, but for the ones in which we do who are non-Americans, I'm ok with them being hassled.

I'm totally concerned about abise inside the country. Not so much at the border or at border control locations like airports.




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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 01:14 AM

8. All surveillance is fascist.

Until we the people can have full access to ALL police and government phone calls, credit card data and metadata, the system is guaranteed to amalgamate power into a police state.

Democracy first. Democracy forever.

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Response to DemocracyMouse (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 22, 2019, 08:55 AM

9. Exactly right. Presumption of innocence is a cornerstone of a free society,

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