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Abstract, Cyber Warrior Makeup May Hide Your Face From Surveillance

Well, it appears the cyber punk movies of the early eighties ('Liquid Sky,' 'Jubilee,' even 'Blade Runner') got it right: in order to defend against our Big Brother overlords, we are going to need to stylistically paint our faces in bizarre and senseless ways. For his graduate's thesis at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program (or ITP), Brooklyn-based Adam Harvey is trying to create, as he says, "privacy enhancing counter technology" in a world abundant with face detection software. He posits that since the average individual won't want to be watched, personal style, adornment and accessorizing will change accordingly.

Gathering info from a variety of different face-tracking programs (all based on the rudimentary, yet effective Viola-Jones Method, Harvey alters and experiments with images to make them undetectable. His most recent run used women's faces from "Figure Drawing for Fashion Design" and smeared each visage with, erm, Lady Gaga-esque weirdness. As one may suspect, the stranger, more asymmetrical designs evade the detecting software more readily. Identifying 'Haar-like features' for identification -- or the pixels that cameras detect as belonging to face -- Harvey attempted to confuse and contort the software, by confusing and contorting the face.

That unfortunate facial tattoo the guy on the train has may keep him safe from prying cyber eyes. If tattoos aren't your thing, you can always gussy up using some day-glo paint and magic markers. Oh, and mohawk is optional. [From: AH Projects]

Tags: adam harvey, AdamHarvey, facial recognition, facial recognition software, FacialRecognition, FacialRecognitionSoftware, interactive Telecommunications Program, InteractiveTelecommunicationsProgram, ITP, new york univerity, NewYorkUniverity, NYU, privacy, thesis, top