Presenting at the most recent Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg, artist Adam Harvey unveiled fashion designs aimed at confusing and thwarting facial recognition technology.
Developed in collaboration with Hyphen-Labs, the designs incorporate abstract graphics aimed at tricking facial recognition systems into interpreting them as multiple faces images. Harvey’s aim is to overwhelm facial recognition systems with a surfeit of fake faces.
With businesses increasingly using the technology on consumers, and a Georgetown Law study having asserted last year that police forces have used facial recognition technology on half of all Americans, Harvey’s efforts could have considerable appeal to privacy advocates and others concerned about the trend. At the same time, with facial recognition systems able to identify increasing numbers of faces simultaneously, people wearing Harvey’s designs may be no less susceptible to biometric identification with additional fake faces hovering around them.
In any case, the project points to a growing tension between privacy and surveillance as facial recognition technologies continue to proliferate.