Facial recognition is a highly controversial topic. Next-gen technology gives law enforcement and other governmental entities the power to monitor, track and identify individual citizens in public places. While some of the initial programs have shown some success in capturing wanted criminals, watchdog groups raise serious concerns over the immediate use and long-term storage of facial recognition data – including threats posed by hackers and unintentional data leaks.
Thankfully, there numerous methods you can use to counteract much of the facial recognition hardware that is in use today.
NIR (near infrafred) LED lights are a simple and affordable means of hiding your identity from facial recognition hardware. By adding these to your personal accessories, like hats and glasses, the NIR LEDs effectively hide your face from facial recognition devices.
Innovative Textile Patterns
Pioneered by prominent artists and privacy advocate, Adam Harvey, HyperFace is a highly innovative textile pattern that is similar to that of camouflage. Instead of using dark, drab and dreary colors that appear in random spots and blotches, Harvey's creation features a myriad of different faces – meant to match the ideal face templates that are often used by current-gen facial recognition technology – in order to confuse the camera. Instead of hiding the wearer altogether, this invention attempts to overload the hardware by presenting it with too many faces.
Face Paint and Makeup
While it may seem too good to be true, simply painting your face with certain paints or makeup can hide your true identity from today's facial recognition hardware. Even certain patterns – like the clown motifs used by the rap group, Insane Clown Posse, or ICP, are intricate enough to trick many facial recognition cameras.
Anyone born in the latter half of the 20th century certainly remembers the cheap, plastic Halloween masks from their childhood. While we don't recommend that any adult goes out in public wearing one of these, especially out of season, some manufacturers specialize in creating realistic prosthetic masks that do a great job of mimicking the human face. Some of them are so lifelike that they're impossible to differentiate from a real human face without a close inspection.
Don't underestimate the more common wardrobe accessories – they're very useful when it comes to protecting your identity in a non-threatening and inconspicuous manner. Items like dark sunglasses, large hats and balaclavas are all acceptable in public places and most passersby won't even think twice. But the best part is that facial recognition hardware won't be able to pick your face out of the crowd.
Protecting Your Identity While in Public
While many citizens see nothing wrong with facial recognition technology, those who want to protect their identity – for whatever reason – should be able to remain anonymous while they're out in public. Whether they're concerned about hackers and data leaks or even if they're just trying to go about their day without the fear of big brother watching their every move, it's an option that should be available to every law-abiding citizen.
How to Counteract Facial Recognition Technology
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