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Remember Dazzle, the method of complex geometric camouflage painting introduced in WWI (designed to disguise the direction, size, and types of ships at sea)? Last year, ITP student Adam Harvey’s Dazzle CV project brought a similar technology to modern facial recognition software. Using hair and make-up tricks, Adam realized you could fairly easily defeat facial recognition algorithms found in CV software and face-recog bots like the ones that Facebook and Flickr uses. And, you get to look like a neo-tribal cyberpunk in the process. He describes CV Dazzle as “antagonistic technology.” Eye of HAL, your move. [Thanks, Jake!]

CV Dazzle

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor for Boing Boing and WINK Books. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.


  • Anonymous

    Brilliant– as Keith just pointed out (offline), we’re willingly building the database of faces ourselves.  We wondered if some day pupil recognition could be done at a distance, even on someone who’s wearing a mask.  Goli just saw people in the Amsterdam airport do express check-in by looking into a pupil-recognition camera.

  • http://profiles.google.com/macrumpton Michael Crumpton

    It is ironic that the way to make yourself unrecognizable to computers makes you unforgettable to humans. I wonder if just sticking on a couple of stickers with eyes on them near your real eyes would be effective.

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  • daddyvortex

    Soooooo, the algorithm should be modified to detect face camo possibility leading to one of those TSA pull-asides at least at airports.