Recently I found this on Youtube:
And I got to thinking about the implications of this kind of technology. It seems to me that the next step is to make this available:
- On our phones so that every Selfie or picture of our friends are cloaked before we upload them.
- IRL -we need to learn to use makeup – both men and women – to change our faces to cloak them against face recognition, but in such a way that our friends may only notice we are wearing subtle makeup.
- Clothing manufacturers can make an effort to provide quick-change clothing options for coats, shirts, pants, etc. to allow subtle cloaking for those of us who want options for privacy, on our way to work or other travels.
Recently we saw what happened when Facebook changed their privacy polices, causing a meltdown at Signal due to folks migrating. I suggest that this technology at Fawkes should cause a similar groundswell of new technology and migration to face cloaking.
Once these technologies are widely available and ubiquitous, then perhaps the face recognition feeds will contain so much noise that we can effectively take our privacy back.
Face Cloaking IRL now
For IRL use, clearly masks will not fly, and these other styles are not going to work either. In China or other nation states, this kind of makeup might get you arrested. Clearly not the desired outcome. And if you go to work this way, you might not get fired at Google or Microsoft, they can probably take a joke, but other companies would probably march you into HR for a talking to, and a suggestion that if you wanted to continue to work there, you need to take off the makeup.
It seems to me that what we need are:
- A phone app that shows me some random changed to a selfie picture, from my phone right now, where I can apply some makeup to cloak my face.
- Lots of Youtuber Cosplayers that provide How-To videos for how to do this so maybe I could go to work each morning with a different face. A different face for surveillance, but not a different face for my friends – since they will not notice.
- And clothing manufacturers who make coats, shirts and maybe shoes that can be easily changed to cloak the rest of me. Turn that coat inside out, turn that shirt when coats aren’t needed. Pants, skirts, and shoes with cloaking.
Now it’s a very popular pastime [business?] to provide makeup and cosplay tutorials. These are often extreme, but these folks are skilled at makeup and can take up the task of teaching us how to cloak ourselves in subtle ways if the Fawkes folks can only tell them how.
Here’s the Fawkes technical presentation. Hardly accessible or useful as a makeup tutorial.
Implications for Social Credit Systems?
What does this technology do for Social Credit Systems? We’ve heard about China, but what about the US? Do social credit systems depend on facial recognition? Can monkey wrenches be thrown into those systems if facial recognition is subtly made less precise and less valuable?
None of this is to suggest that bad actors need more tools. But just as the migration of folks to Signal over Facebook Privacy policies indicate that privacy is important to many folks, then perhaps we need some more tools to help to protect our privacy.
May you walk in the light of the Crystal.