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Avoiding Facial Recognition of the Future

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the like-in-paul-theroux's-o-zone dept.

Privacy 258

hypnosec writes "A New York-based designer has created a camouflage technique that makes it much harder for computer based facial recognition. Along with the growth of closed circuit television (CCTV) , this has become quite a concern for many around the world, especially in the UK where being on camera is simply a part of city life. Being recognized automatically by computer is something that hearkens back to 1984 or A Scanner Darkly. As we move further into the 21st century, this futuristic techno-horror fiction is seeming more and more accurate. Never fear though people, CV Dazzle has some styling and makeup ideas that will make you invisible to facial recognition cameras. Why the 'fabulous' name? It comes from World War I warship paint that used stark geometric patterning to help break up the obvious outline of the vessel. Apparently it all began as a thesis at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at New York University. It addressed the problems with traditional techniques of hiding the face, like masks and sunglasses and looked into more socially and legally acceptable ways of styling that could prevent a computer from recognizing your face. Fans of Assassin's Creed might feel a bit at home with this, as it's all about hiding in plain sight."

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Don't forget IR (5, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589264)

Add IR opaque contact lenses or eyeglasses. Otherwise a camera sensitive to IR could still locate your eyes easily using the Ghost Hunters effect.

I mean hey, if you're willing to paint your face like a zebra and wear a jellyfish wig, popping in a set of otherwise clear contacts should be nothing, right?

This is old news... (5, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589870)

I saw this documentary many years ago, that explains how NOT to be seen. [youtube.com] .

;)

Re:Don't forget IR (4, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590404)

As I understand it, eyes alone aren't very helpful for facial recognition; the system also needs to see the nose and some other features to determine the dimensions of various points on your face and make a match. Notice the article talks about how effective it is to cover the bridge of the nose, as that's a critical area.

Re:Don't forget IR (3, Funny)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590430)

Clearly no one here has read Snow Crash. All you need is Sushi K's Rising Sun hairdo

Cure worse than disease? (5, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589310)

It would seem anyone running around painted this way would attract more police attention than just wearing a slouch hat. Perhaps it might be easier to just get (make) an Infrared LED Hat [boingboing.net] . Or maybe, take control of your government and vote them out until they remove the cameras [bigbrotherwatch.org.uk] .

We need a new fashion (1)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589378)

Also the hairdos are a bit ridiculous. If more than a couple people do this, then wouldn't "the watchers" just flag anyone with preposterous hair for additional scrutiny?

Perhaps the citizen answer is to make bulky glasses fashionable... glasses that have big flanges at the bridge.

As for the IR Hat, is that the new tinfoil?

Re:We need a new fashion (2)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589586)

Not really, the LED hat actually has some effect for most security cameras currently in use.

And it doesn't have to be just a hat, it could be built into headphones or any other accessory close enough to the face to obscure it with glare.

Of course, anyone looking at the video feed will know that someone doesn't want to be identified due to the glare.

Re:We need a new fashion (5, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589804)

Not really, the LED hat actually has some effect for most security cameras currently in use.

I've been wanting to surround my license plate holder on my car with these IR LEDs....and see if they'd blank out my plate to the stupid speed/traffic light cameras....

Re:We need a new fashion (4, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590296)

Yes, they should - because that's the way they tend to catch idiots misusing MIRTs [wikipedia.org] - the pulse pattern is visible on the cameras.

Re:We need a new fashion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590436)

Maybe you could stop running red lights... just an option, y'know.

Re:We need a new fashion (1)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590532)

nonsense, people like the parent post are way too self-important to be expected to follow the law like us mere mortals.

Re:We need a new fashion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590526)

yes, stupid speed/traffic light cameras - how dare they catch you speeding* and/or running the lights**

*

  • you were just going with the flow of traffic
  • you were trying to escape faster traffic coming up behind you to avoid a rear-end collision
  • you were following somebody who just did a hit&run until the lazy cops could finally join in on the chase
  • the camera is wrong, man!
  • it was only 8km/h over - that's nothing, it's all just a money grab

**

  • you were just getting out of the way of police/ambulance/fire dept.
  • you were trying to avoid a rear-end collision... again
  • you were following that hit&run guy... still
  • they rigged the yellows so it's unavoidable to run the red light, man!
  • there wasn't any traffic coming from the other sides, it was totally safe to run that light - it's all just a money grab

Re:We need a new fashion (3, Interesting)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590354)

Maybe veils will become popular again.

Re:We need a new fashion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589684)

Perhaps the citizen answer is to make bulky glasses fashionable... glasses that have big flanges at the bridge.

Done! [deviantart.net]

Replace the red LED with a big IR LED, and go grab some cupcakes!

Re:We need a new fashion (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589970)

I'm pretty sure I saw some of those styles (the hair and makup) in the '80s. On the principle of everything old is new again, isn't it about time for that to come back around again?

Re:We need a new fashion (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590214)

I think the retro fashion is still in the '60s.

Re:We need a new fashion (4, Funny)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590352)

Also the hairdos are a bit ridiculous. If more than a couple people do this, then wouldn't "the watchers" just flag anyone with preposterous hair for additional scrutiny?

Hey you insensitive clod, I used to wear my hair that way in the 80s!

-AI

Re:We need a new fashion (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590442)

No, because glasses with a big flange at the bridge are noticeable too, and authorities would just look for those.

Instead, what we need is something like the old fake glasses with a fake nose attached. If the glasses have something that covers the bridge of the nose with something that still looks like a real part of your nose, but has different dimensions than your real nose, it'll throw off the recognition algorithms while still being totally innocuous looking, as long as the fake-nose part looks really real.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589390)

Police attention for odd modes of dress? They would eventually get slapped enough to back off.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589594)

No they wouldn't. Very few people have any problem with the cops harassing people for dressing stupid.
And going around with this ridiculous stuff just proves the bigots right, since only people who are up to no good care about the surveillance in the first place.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (3, Funny)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589968)

So, I'm guessing that this facial recognition software can't locate and recognize Lady Gaga?

Re:Cure worse than disease? (2, Funny)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590446)

No worry, if anyone is seen wearing meat on their heads, a drone will be automatically dispatched to make sure that is is well done.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (4, Insightful)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590432)

"since only people who are up to no good care about the surveillance in the first place."

Perfect PC speech/mentality in our new police state, if you even remotely "look like" you are doing something wrong, its proof that you are. With anti-Talibanism on the rise, expect them to start detaining anyone with a beard or mustache, women who wear scarves, men who wear hats, etc. Coupled, with GOP efforts to eliminate the court system, just think of the money we can save by dispensing with trials all together. Instead we can have un-elected, privately contracted clothing censors, who only have to press and up or down button on their PC's, which will dispatch the drones.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (2)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589866)

News for you, big city police do it all the time. I'm from Chicago. Dress like a "delinquent punk" or gangbanger, get treated like one. Sorry, don't shoot the messenger. There needs to be a second consideration here, how to not set off the mental radar of the Man.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590466)

No, they wouldn't, at least not here in the USA. People have happily given up all the Constitutional rights regarding unreasonable search and seizure, and submit to being irradiated or groped every time they travel somewhere. No one's going to say anything if some "freaks" with weird hair-dos are harassed or assaulted by cops.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590566)

If someone dresses with baggy pants or too much eye makeup on a male where I live, and the local finest likely will be looking for a reason to give them a ride downtown.

I can't wait until the local cops start arresting people for "obstructing justice" due to too much eyeliner.

Oh well... they need a target for their new Tasers, LRAD, microwaves, and blinding walls, and CXW needs to fill up jail bed space so they make their quarterly numbers.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (3, Informative)

Anon-Admin (443764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589404)

I agree, The best one I have seen so far was to hot glue IR Diodes to the brim of a baseball cap and wire them to a small battery pack inside the cap. All of the cameras are extremely sensitive to IR (So they can see at night) and it has the effect of whiting out your face to the camera but being unseen by anyone else.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (2)

trikes57 (2442722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589476)

You can already buy hats with LEDs in the brim from places like Sears: http://www.sears.com/craftsman-4-led-hat/p-03493353000P [sears.com]
So a few bucks to change out the LEDs to IR LEDs and you are good to go.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589798)

All of the cameras are extremely sensitive to IR (So they can see at night).

Er no - it's because CCDs are IR sensitive. Which is why IR blocking film has to be placed under the lens. And no, the IR range visible by CCDs doesn't enable them to "see at night" (unless you shine an IR source on the subject). Those CCDs can't "see" heat signatures either (anymore than these techniques actually work - try V4l2 controls) - not unless you stick 'em in an Esky connected to a massively insulated lens and flood the Esky with liquid Nitrogen.

You can carry on with the fantasies now.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589572)

Fake mustaches, wigs on short hair, for once Hollywood might actually be educational here in how they dress up their actors. The question is why bother? This needs to be addressed at the government level, as to why they feel they need to monitor their citizens (superiority complex???) and what the limitations are.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590474)

I agree. It will be far simpler to require a chip be implanted in your brain before you are permitted to vote.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590560)

Fake mustaches won't help, nor will wigs unless they obscure the face. Facial recognition works by measuring the distances between key points on the face, so facial hair doesn't affect it at all (unless you're like those guys who grew hair over their entire faces and ended up in a circus sideshow as ape-men).

Re:Cure worse than disease? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589626)

It would seem anyone running around painted this way would attract more police attention than just wearing a slouch hat

Oh? Judging by the first picture in the series, I could probably find someone not unlike that in the downtown of many large cities -- or a mall.

It isn't yet illegal to be eccentric compared to the rest of society.

Hell, I can think of some people I've met at tattoo/piercing places who might fool facial recognition. By the time you've got some extra piercings/implants, it can change quite a bit -- and those people often are already wearing theatrical contacts.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589768)

It would seem anyone running around painted this way would attract more police attention than just wearing a slouch hat

Oh? Judging by the first picture in the series, I could probably find someone not unlike that in the downtown of many large cities -- or a mall.

It isn't yet illegal to be eccentric compared to the rest of society.

Nobody said it was illegal.
Just that it would attract police attention. Wasn't avoiding that, after all, what the story was about?

Go ask the next person you see if they feel their mode of dress attracts more police attention than the average joe. Be prepared for an ear full, but once you wade thru that, you will they feel it does attract the attention of the average cop.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589832)

Hell, I can think of some people I've met at tattoo/piercing places who might fool facial recognition. By the time you've got some extra piercings/implants, it can change quite a bit -- and those people often are already wearing theatrical contacts.

You haven't *really* thought that through have you? Like painting your car with pink polka dots so no one will recognise it...

baseball caps and hoodies (3, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589678)

Render CCTV pretty much 100% ineffective.

Or maybe it was just ineffective anyway.

Re:baseball caps and hoodies (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589902)

that's what pick-pockets wear all right, but that attracts cop attention too.

Re:baseball caps and hoodies (1)

Sentrion (964745) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589934)

My local Subway has a sign on the front door: "For security purposes, please remove hoods and sunglasses before entering." I usually comply, but I don't think I would if I was planning to rob the place.

Re:baseball caps and hoodies (2)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590312)

I'm glad I don't live on the same planet you do.

Re:baseball caps and hoodies (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590510)

So do most banks now.

After airports have all the body scanners they need, places like Subway, Walmart, Drugstores, etc. will soon be the only viable markets. Expect these to be required in every store near you in the near future. After all, no one will object unless they have something to hide right?

Re:Cure worse than disease? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589898)

"Or maybe, take control of your government and vote them out until they remove the cameras"

Unfortunately, most of the cameras are owned by private companies and are located on private property. And we on /. know the private corporations are sacrosanct, don't we!

Re:Cure worse than disease? (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589950)

Clearly it's time to start holding Adam Ant fan conventions...

Re:Cure worse than disease? (4, Informative)

ironjaw33 (1645357) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589960)

It would seem anyone running around painted this way would attract more police attention than just wearing a slouch hat.

With more and more automation in law enforcement, it isn't about fooling the police anymore, it's about fooling machines. As of late, law enforcement is pushing hard for automated electronic solutions which replace the venerable eyeball. GPS trackers are replacing stakeouts, speed and traffic light cameras replace traffic police, and facial recognition may be reducing the number of beat cops. When it comes to the state of the art with data mining and machine learning, there are a ton of corner cases to choose from -- a sight that may draw significant attention to a human being might be quickly discarded by an artificial neural network. Nobody will even care to look at the wig you're wearing as everyone's heads are now buried in their phones.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590194)

Everyone wear infrared lasers and blind these cameras, that will put a stop to them!

Re:Cure worse than disease? (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590338)

If this starts to catch on, expect the Tea Party and GOP to ban Braveheart fan clubs.

Re:Cure worse than disease? (1)

Walt Dismal (534799) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590498)

My unibrow, third eye on the forehead, and Freddy Mercury mustache are all I need to go incognito without any attention. Also, I look like Lady Gaga. All of which makes me completely blend with the crowd, as long as the crowd is at a freak show or science fiction convention, or ComicCon.

Fantasy becoming reality (5, Insightful)

tatman (1076111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589332)

And by that I do not mean cameras and facial recognition. I'm thinking about in games and books where the characters had strange hair and make up styles. Now, it's becoming plausible.

Re:Fantasy becoming reality (1)

deains (1726012) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589792)

And by that I do not mean cameras and facial recognition. I'm thinking about in games and books where the characters had strange hair and make up styles. Now, it's becoming plausible.

I looked through the photos, and immediately thought they looked like people out of some futuristic sci-fi show or movie. And then the penny dropped. Now we know why everyone in the future looks like that.

*shiver*

Re:Fantasy becoming reality (1)

shish (588640) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589818)

Now, it's becoming plausible.

It's always been plausible (Go look at a goth nightclub :P), but now we know the reason that everybody in the future does it.

Re:Fantasy becoming reality (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589868)

And by that I do not mean cameras and facial recognition. I'm thinking about in games and books where the characters had strange hair and make up styles. Now, it's becoming plausible.

That's not what plausible means.

Re:Fantasy becoming reality (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590516)

And by that I do not mean cameras and facial recognition. I'm thinking about in games and books where the characters had strange hair and make up styles. Now, it's becoming plausible.

That's not what plausible means.

Time to update your dictionary to the 19th century???

plausible (plôz-bl)
adj.
1. Seemingly or apparently valid, likely, or acceptable; credible

The writer was very correct in his usage. Maybe you
haven't seen enough steampunk/cyberpunk movies?

-AI

Subtler alternatives? Climber's sunglasses? (2)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589344)

How would climber's sunglasses, which normally protect the nose and shield the eyes, work for this?

Illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589388)

I'm surprised about this, In the UK we are all bound by EU law, which clearly states "The right to a private family life" or something along those lines.
CCTV in public places, workplaces and even the local shopping centres is one thing, collecting our faces and being able to accurately identify us based on this spooky technology would fly in the face of this law (no pun)

Re:Illegal? (2)

trikes57 (2442722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589500)

"Family life" was probably chose to specifically eliminate any right to privacy in Public Life.

Re:Illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589604)

It's hardly public if this CCTV network is almost outside your house and they use this technology to identify who is leaving/entering your house, see how the public/private quickly becomes blurred?

At last! (4, Funny)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589422)

A practical application for my Warhammer 40K painting!

Hooray for Surveillance! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589454)

Now it's that much easier to pick out the pedophiles and murderers because they'll be dressing all funny to thwart the eyes and minds which seek only to protect us from unsavory elements in our needlessly tolerant society.

After all, you don't need to hide if you haven't done anything wrong.

Re:Hooray for Surveillance! (0)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589872)

After all, you don't need to hide if you haven't done anything wrong.

Right; because Justice is blind, [forbes.com] and no one get jailed over bullshit. [economist.com]

now, do us all a favor and take a flyin' fuck at a rollin' doughnut, you hideous troll you.

Cyberpunk, eat your heart out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589456)

I for one welcome the new DIY beauty tips. Ten bux says Moxie Marlinspike shows up to a con with a full-face tattoo just for this purpose.

Re:Cyberpunk, eat your heart out (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589514)

Well, there is a SLIGHT problem with using a tattoo for this purpose. Which should become obvious on your second night on the town.

Re:Cyberpunk, eat your heart out (1)

AlienIntelligence (1184493) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590548)

I for one welcome the new DIY beauty tips. Ten bux says Moxie Marlinspike shows up to a con with a full-face tattoo just for this purpose.

Well, there is a SLIGHT problem with using a tattoo for this purpose. Which should become obvious on your second night on the town.

So, what you are saying is... Mike Tyson's tribal tat would be a BAD(?) idea? /s

=)

-AI

Reality catching up to comics (3, Interesting)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589470)

V for Vendetta and Doktor Sleepless are pioneers of this. Doktor Sleepless's masks carry the added bonus of jamming all RFID tags in a limited area, letting the wearer act free.

Well, we will know where the rave is... (1)

Coldmoon (1010039) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589492)

The pictures seem to be in tune with the younger set and would not be out of place at your local college campus; especially when there is a rave going on somewhere.

Kids wearing face paint and outrageous hair styles are not going to be noticed other than with the usual disapproving glances from the geezers they pass along the way...

Re:Well, we will know where the rave is... (1)

Demonoid-Penguin (1669014) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589930)

The pictures seem to be in tune with the younger set and would not be out of place at your local college campus; especially when there is a rave going on somewhere. Kids wearing face paint and outrageous hair styles are not going to be noticed other than with the usual disapproving glances from the geezers they pass along the way...

What - like long hair, floppy hats and beards worked?

I don't think you quite understand the full picture [turner.com]

Use something else (2)

Obble (1680532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589496)

I would suggest everyone start wearing Burkas.

The only down side to that is that it might attract some more attention as well since I am a man.

No plan is perfect :-(

Re:Use something else (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590192)

I have seen man in burka at the mall before. Or they were very tall women with large manly hands...

Yeah... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589536)

It's all well and good until masking your identity becomes the same thing as covering up your license plate. illegal

Re:Yeah... (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589812)

isn't it already illegal in France?

And another old story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589546)

Can we actually have some NEWS on Slashdot? This story has been around for years, usually described as the Adam Ant effect.

First Step - address the visual DB (5, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589556)

The first step would be to stop making this easier for the government by posting and correctly tagging all those Facebook and flicker, etc, photos.

In fact, if you really want to start messing with this, get photo manipulation software, and on an entire sequence of photos stretch the nose a little, reduce the space between the nose and mouth, lengthen the chin, change the eyes a little, essentially changing all the standard measurements useful for visual identification, then "poison the well" by continuously posting these slightly altered shots up on these tracking sites and tag them appropriately. I'd personally even round robin tag them with friends names, or random ones if you don't already have a history to overcome, just to confuse the matter even more. (What, you didn't think that those pictures and info weren't available to the government, did you? They're the biggest, and free!, ID DB ever constructed)

All the other stuff, wrap around mirrored glasses that are IR/UV opaque etc will only assist in keeping them from making an easy match.

Re:First Step - address the visual DB (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589794)

Let me know when you're able to train your technophobe mom on using Photoshop to lengthen people's noses and stretching their chins, and when you're able to convince your sexting teenage cousin that it's not kosher throwing pictures of everyone up everywhere.

While I don't necessarily disagree with you, practically speaking, it's not going to happen. That genie is already out of its bottle. We need to start from the fundamental assumption that the data is out there and will be collected, and figure out from that what we need to do.

Re:First Step - address the visual DB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590088)

Certainly. But we should also spread the word about the potential of facebook &Co. being used for bad, privacywise and freedomwise.

Those of us that can bare possibly being seen as obnoxious spoilsports should convince people to migrate to a distributed system owned and controlled by the users.

We should put a freedombox in every home (when thesoftware is ripe enough).
http://freedomboxfoundation.org/ [freedomboxfoundation.org]

Re:First Step - address the visual DB (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590440)

Let me know when you're able to train your technophobe mom on using Photoshop to lengthen people's noses and stretching their chins, and when you're able to convince your sexting teenage cousin that it's not kosher throwing pictures of everyone up everywhere.

Funny enough, iOS users have this little app called "Fat Booth" [apple.com] which will handle both issues above as it is exceptionally easy to use and "fun", apparently. I'm sure there's an equivalent for Android out there as well. No computers even needed.

For the teenagers, the more off pictures, the better. If we could convince them at the same time to tag them with funny names, it'd resolve itself quickly.

While I don't necessarily disagree with you, practically speaking, it's not going to happen. That genie is already out of its bottle. We need to start from the fundamental assumption that the data is out there and will be collected, and figure out from that what we need to do.

Just a few users can poison the well pretty handily, at least for a targeted set of subjects. Once the integrity of the DB goes low enough, it becomes essentially useless.

Yech! (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589576)

It's the eighties all over again.

Enough with the poor research. (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589642)

especially in the UK where being on camera is simply a part of city life.

The number of cameras in Britain is based on an extrapolation from a single street in London. It's not a particularly reliable figure.

Most of these cameras are privately owned. Do you really believe there's something about Britain that makes private businesses substantially more likely to employ CCTV than in other countries?

Re:Enough with the poor research. (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589876)

Most of these cameras are privately owned. Do you really believe there's something about Britain that makes private businesses substantially more likely to employ CCTV than in other countries?

The law, maybe? I don't think you can put up CCTV cameras willy nilly in some other countries even if you have a shop or pub or something.

Re:Enough with the poor research. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590084)

What country would that be? Most any that I can think of allow such things quite freely. You can generally put up a camera anywhere on your private property in most any country.

Re:Enough with the poor research. (1)

shish (588640) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589992)

I don't know what the figure being talked about is, but one time while waiting for a friend in London, I looked up, and found ~15 CCTV cameras in line of sight; even if that was an anomalously high area, it still seems a bit much...

Human facial recognition? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589696)

Could it be that we use the same techniques to identify faces? After looking at the pictures of the recommended makeup/techniques, they all looks a little off kilter and weird to me...

How do you not recognize a facial? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589720)

They're pretty impossible not to notice but I doubt a computer could tell if it's a facial or just some goo

The terrorists have worked that out already (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589766)

They just wear burkas.

Re:The terrorists have worked that out already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589938)

Yeah, Timothy McVeigh was infamous for wearing a burka.

Re:The terrorists have worked that out already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590286)

OMG! You named one christian terrorist that had a different modus operandi then an islamist terrorist. You are a true paragon of tolerance and multiculturalism! Lets dismiss all the suicide bombers that hidden their 'gear' under a burka for sake of political correctness...

Eh... (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589770)

I was kind of hoping this would be something that would make computer recognition fail while still being pretty subtle to human eyes. I'm not sure of the methods, but there are plenty of factors that we could make use of. For example, CCTV tend to be higher up than human height, and take 2D images. So, perhaps a technique may involve masking shadows from a certain set of angles in a subtle way that avoids detecting a face shape while not being too noticeable by normal people.

Re:Eh... (1)

dredwerker (757816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589806)

I was kind of hoping this would be something that would make computer recognition fail while still being pretty subtle to human eyes. I'm not sure of the methods, but there are plenty of factors that we could make use of. For example, CCTV tend to be higher up than human height, and take 2D images. So, perhaps a technique may involve masking shadows from a certain set of angles in a subtle way that avoids detecting a face shape while not being too noticeable by normal people.

A hat :)

Re:Eh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590128)

[snip]So, perhaps a technique may involve masking shadows from a certain set of angles in a subtle way that avoids detecting a face shape while not being too noticeable by normal people.

A hat :)

I am considered reasonably normal, and i would notice a hat quite fast... /mh

And now add plenty of false positives, too. (2)

Shackleford Hurtmore (1465057) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589796)

I read about his work a couple of years ago. He has come up with a good way to prevent a facial recognition algorithm getting "true positives", but I think to truly mess with The Man, how about my idea for a textile pattern to also generate lots of spurious "false positives": http://shacklemore.blogspot.com/2010/04/facial-recognition-camoflage.html [blogspot.com] Hopefully, if enough people wore this fabric, any real-time facial recognition algorithm would start getting CPU bound, and limited by the speed of running hundreds of database queries against it's back-end database.

Countershading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38589828)

They should also try counter shading :D
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/76/Abbott_thayer_countershading.jpg
On the left is a camouflaged shape, and on the right it has been countershaded

Learn to change the distance between your eyes. (4, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38589906)

It's like wiggling your ears, only a bit harder. Come on, practice! You can do it!

You might want to work on shortening and lengthening your nose, too.

Accessorize! (2)

Brooklynoid (656617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590178)

This look would go nicely with my tinfoil hat.

Simple (2)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590258)

Eye patch. Wear it on a different side depending on the day of the week.

The End of the World: (3, Funny)

siphonophore (158996) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590324)

When someone cross-references a 200GB torrent of amateur porn photos with the facebook database

knee jerk (2)

spaceman375 (780812) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590368)

I've been looking forward to decent facial recognition for decades. Especially in "cash registers." No more PINs, signatures, passwords to make up and then remember, no card swiping, bumping, etc. Heck; no cards at all in my wallet for loss or picking. Despite following "The Dead" back in the day, no, you can't steal my face. Just smile at the camera and go. Want to log in? My desktop should just follow me around wherever the nearest screen is. No more carrying a keychain (or barcode chain). My car should just recognise me and not be willing to start for anyone else without checking with me first. Same thing with the locks on my house. Tech like this is a good thing. How it gets used should be controlled and applied ethically, not just shot down with a luddite approach in the name of privacy. Go back to your shrill call to "Think of the children."

Re:knee jerk (2, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590406)

My car should just recognise me and not be willing to start for anyone else without checking with me first.

You're at a remote campsite, out of cell range. You've been drinking. You trip over something and fall in the fire pit, burning your face beyond recognition. Your girlfriend tries to take you to the hospital, but the car doesn't start when she turns the key. You die of shock. Your girlfriend dies from exposure 12 days later.

Integration into culture (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590424)

Waiting for things like this to become integrated into your local gang culture like black hoodies and sunglasses in 5, 4, 3....

How about something easily removeable? (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590470)

It needs to be removable if you're going to visit a place (like banks or government offices in the US) where covering your face is illegal. Also: Making your face less identifiable as a face has got to have some social implications. Are people going to be comfortable talking to you?

Treat the Disease, Not the Symptoms (3, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590500)

The disease is the out of control kleptocracy--corporations and the 1% dismantling everything good about our society. Learning different techniques to fool facial recognition software, etc, etc will only ever be used be a few while most will acquiesce. In short, it will make no difference to the trajectory of the path we're on.

The only, definitive way to put an end to all this crap is to tear down this failed system and start on America 2.0. America 1.0 got a lot of things right, and those things should be kept. But we also got some things wrong, and other things have developed that the original designers couldn't have foreseen. So let's wrest control back from the corrupt in that good old American way, non-violently if possible, by force of arms if necessary.

But sitting around, wasting time on weasel tactics like these is completely counter-productive. Let's act preemptively and use technology to destabilize the 1%, put them to flight, and make sure the crap they've been up to never happens again.

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