Clow­ing your way past fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy


APC Australia - - Downtime » Chip Chat -

This one prob­a­bly needs a lit­tle ex­pla­na­tion. A juggalo is a hard­core fan of the US hip-hop group In­sane Clown Posse, and like the band mem­bers them­selves, they en­joy wear­ing pre­dom­i­nantly black-and-white face paint akin to evil clowns. After a large num­ber of them marched on Wash­ing­ton last year to add their voices to the many polit­cal­protests, it was dis­cov­ered quite by ac­ci­dent that their face paint ef­fec­tively coun­tered fa­cial recog­ni­tion tech­nol­ogy. Ac­cord­ing to Won­derHowTo’s com­puter se­cu­rity and pri­vacy re­searcher Tahkion, “if you want to avoid sur­veil­lance, be­come a juggalo”. Fa­cial recog­ni­tion works by re­ly­ing on cer­tain vis­i­ble points, such as the lo­ca­tion of the nose, height of the eye­brows and width of the mouth. Once some­one ap­plies juggalo-like paint to their face — some­thing that of­ten in­volves de­signs that run con­trary to the nat­u­ral con­tours of the wearer’s face — it confuses fa­cial recog­ni­tion sys­tems, re­sult­ing in in­cor­rect es­ti­ma­tions.

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