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Author Topic: How to Beat Facial Recognition Software without Looking Like a Bank Robber  (Read 1933 times)


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I read an article on defeating facial recognition here:


In the Orwellian Police State that is our world, facial recognition software is cropping up more and more. From the ever-encroaching Facebook to local police departments to airport checkpoints, it’s becoming harder to be anonymous and protect your personal privacy.


This means that coming soon, to a law enforcement officer near you, a simple photo snapped with a device that looks similar to a cell phone will enable you to be identified. “According to New Scientist, facial recognition systems have reached the point where they can match a single face from a pool of 1.6 million mugshots/passport photos with 92% accuracy, in under 1.2 seconds.”


The “hacktivist” group Anonymous offers some suggestions too.  The video below outlines a simple hat with LED lights that are invisible to people around you but complete obscure the face of the wearer.

Here's the video:

I'm pretty familiar with some facial recognition APIs, but not so sure about what is being claimed above. (The stuff I know is very high level, and this is a lower level question closer to the actual algorithms.)

Does anyone know enough about facial recognition to comment on ways to defeat it? (The make-up stuff.)

I suppose the question there is simply about light and cameras - for the Anonymous recommendation. Anyone with some engineering background to back that up? I know a fair bit, and would likely bet on it, but... I've not checked the engineering behind it as it would take me pretty long to do.
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There is no way to change the geometry of ones face with makeup (e.g. your eyes and mouth don't move).

However I would be inclined to believe the IR/LED option is possible. Actually it shouldn't be that hard to test with an eyeball cam and a TV remote (which work off IR).