HOW DOES A PER­SON TURN INTO SOME­ONE ELSE?

iD magazine - - Technology -

A man walks into a bank in Ohio, pulls out a gun, and steals sev­eral thou­sand dol­lars. The de­scrip­tion of the sus­pect: male, mus­cu­lar, dark skin, broad nose, bald head. Fa­cial-recog­ni­tion soft­ware finds what looks to be the per­fect match: Ben­jamin Brooks.* The sus­pect is ar­rested. But the pro­gram got it wrong, and of all the char­ac­ter­is­tics listed above, only the first two ac­tu­ally fit. Thanks to ev­i­dence pro­vided by a woman a few days later, it be­came clear the bank rob­ber was wear­ing a life­like sil­i­cone mask (far right). And un­der that mask was Con­rad Zdzierak (right). For around $ 800, he had bought a mask called “The Player” at spfx­masks.com. “The Ohio rob­bery is not an iso­lated in­ci­dent,” says Rusty Slusser, owner of the on­line shop. “Un­for­tu­nately, there are some buy­ers who mis­use our masks for crim­i­nal pur­poses.”

CON­RAD ZDZIERAK

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