Hey, hey you… see those little black domes on the ceiling? On the light posts? They’re everywhere. They’re watching you. And they’re smart enough to know exactly who you are.
Facial recognition is the reality nowadays, used broadly at events and concerts and even in the check-in line at CES. If you want to keep some semblance of anonymity in your life, we’ve put together a few options here that you can don. But be warned: Surveillance technology is secretive and algorithms are continuously tweaked, so there’s no guarantee these will keep you perfectly private. And most will draw more attention to you than going without.
Camera Confusing Crowd Patches
EAVISE research students Simen Thys, Wiebe Van Ranst, and Toon Goedeme demonstrate that an image of a crowd held close to a person can counteract a person-detection algorithm, rendering someone “invisible”. Shirts with their crowd images on them can now be found, as we saw at Maker Faire Shenzhen last year. You can get their code at gitlab.com/EAVISE/adversarial-yolo.
Insane Clown Posse Makeup
For those who have participated in the Gathering of the Juggalos, it turns out your homage to the face makeup worn by Violent J and Shaggy 2 Dope will help you confuse standard facial recognition programs, as deduced by Twitter user Tahkion. It won’t, however, let you slip past three-dimensional systems like those on the newest iPhones.
With their IR-attuned reflective materials, Reflectacles (reflectacles.com) are glasses said to render cameras incapable of seeing their wearers’ faces in day or night. Probably the most discreet option, if they work as advertised.
Ol’ Fashioned Hood and Bandana
The most basic yet effective way to avoid facial recognition, especially if you conceal your eyes with sunglasses. But looking like a bank-robbing bandit (/super stylish maker) sure can be suspicious — and possibly even dangerous.