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Thread: Defeating face-recognition systems

  1. #1

    Default Defeating face-recognition systems

    I've been thinking (actually, "obsessing" would be a better word) a lot about the nightmarish future we'll see in America and similar industrialized countries with the surveillance grid that's being erected around us. We who are infuriated by the destruction of our privacy need to start thinking really hard about rebelling against the Matrix. Anyone care to discuss ideas?

    Face-recognition systems aren't yet completely mature or widespread, but they're certain to be fairly ubiquitous in the near future. As mentioned on other threads, it would be great to see people come up with "fashionable" ways of concealing identity in public. How about wearing a hat with a mosquito head net attached? You'd be able to see out of it, but it would be difficult or impossible for cameras to see in, since they'd be farther away from the mesh than your eyes would be. Muslim-style veils for women (or even men, for that matter) would be another option. Or maybe plain old ninja hoods. Any of these would look silly and/or suspicious if only a single person did it. But if enough people participated and explained what they were doing to any curious passers-by, there's a chance it could catch on, and people who did it would no longer draw attention to themselves.

    Anyone else have any ideas? I really think this problem is serious enough that we should be doing more than just complaining about it.
    Last edited by GuerrillaXXI; 05-18-2012 at 11:15 PM.
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  3. #2
    Needs a bigger boat Anti Federalist's Avatar
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    Got mine hanging right up over my desk.


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    Needs a bigger boat Anti Federalist's Avatar
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    Oh, and stay out of the porno scanners at the airports.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that those images are being saved and the next step is databasing them with your name.

    That will create a biometric "bodyprint" that can be read just as easily as your face, rendering a mask pointless.

  5. #4

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    Face.com - which facebook uses - has a site dedicated to articles on their algorithms. http://vis-www.cs.umass.edu/lfw/results.html

    Right now most systems get very messed up with anything odd for highlighting especially around the nose. Larger sunglasses would defeat most matches. If google's virtual glasses catch on that may also hinder it further. Anything that keeps the face in shadow would be good, netting may be overkill depending on the camera angle. _MOST_ ctv have crappy image quality for anything further away.

    I know on sunny days I currently wear something from http://www.sundayafternoons.com/store/mens-sun-hats/ Helps fight skin cancer and more brim will cause more shadows and worse camera views.

    I guess if worse comes to worse there are always the comedy glasses with attached noses

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuerrillaXXI View Post
    I've been thinking (actually, "obsessing" would be a better word) a lot about the nightmarish future we'll see in America and similar industrialized countries with the surveillance grid that's being erected around us. We who are infuriated by the destruction of our privacy need to start thinking really hard about rebelling against the Matrix. Anyone care to discuss ideas?

    Face-recognition systems aren't yet completely mature or widespread, but they're certain to be fairly ubiquitous in the near future. As mentioned on other threads, it would be great to see people come up with "fashionable" ways of concealing identity in public. How about wearing a hat with a mosquito head net attached? You'd be able to see out of it, but it would be difficult or impossible for cameras to see in, since they'd be farther away from the mesh than your eyes would be. Muslim-style veils for women (or even men, for that matter) would be another option. Or maybe plain old ninja hoods. Any of these would look silly and/or suspicious if only a single person did it. But if enough people participated and explained what they were doing to any curious passers-by, there's a chance it could catch on, and people who did it would no longer draw attention to themselves.

    Anyone else have any ideas? I really think this problem is serious enough that we should be doing more than just complaining about it.
    facial recognition uses thermal imaging and can probably accurately take a heat signature for each person that looks specifically different.
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  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Oh, and stay out of the porno scanners at the airports.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that those images are being saved and the next step is databasing them with your name.

    That will create a biometric "bodyprint" that can be read just as easily as your face, rendering a mask pointless.
    How about a fat suit for the thinner people? Lots of makeup? A hijab?
    Well, I got Rand started on his campaign (just search around here to see). I advised Thomas Massie before he ran for Congress. I am currently advising 2 liberty campaigns for the state legislature. I ran the war-room and won Minnesota for Ron Paul a few weeks back. There are other things I'm probably forgetting.
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  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kluge View Post
    How about a fat suit for the thinner people? Lots of makeup? A hijab?
    U should wear a burka.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kluge View Post
    How about a fat suit for the thinner people? Lots of makeup? A hijab?
    A barium milkshake.

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  10. #9

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    Lots of good replies so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anti Federalist View Post
    Oh, and stay out of the porno scanners at the airports.

    I have no doubt whatsoever that those images are being saved and the next step is databasing them with your name.

    That will create a biometric "bodyprint" that can be read just as easily as your face, rendering a mask pointless.
    That thought occurred to me as well, AF. But so far, the traveler's name isn't associated with the scan itself. When a traveler shows his ID to the first TSA agent at the checkpoint, that guy doesn't punch any info from the ID into any computer -- he just looks it over and gives it back to you. Then the traveler gets into a line to be scanned, and there's usually more than one line, with no order enforced. Thus, there seems to be little to worry about in regard to biometrics collection at those checkpoints -- for now, at least.

    It's also not clear that a full-body scan is feasible for biometric identification, since bodies can change quite a bit over time. People gain and lose weight; they can lose height with age; and those body scanners (whether THz or backscatter x-ray) cannot see the skeleton. The thermal profile of a body isn't constant, either. So face recognition is really the main thing to worry about.
    Last edited by GuerrillaXXI; 05-19-2012 at 12:30 PM.
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  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    U should wear a burka.
    You're a meany-pants.

    Quote Originally Posted by pcosmar View Post
    A barium milkshake.

    Well, I got Rand started on his campaign (just search around here to see). I advised Thomas Massie before he ran for Congress. I am currently advising 2 liberty campaigns for the state legislature. I ran the war-room and won Minnesota for Ron Paul a few weeks back. There are other things I'm probably forgetting.
    Yet I can't afford $200 to go to a seminar--Matt Collins

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by kpitcher View Post
    Face.com - which facebook uses - has a site dedicated to articles on their algorithms. http://vis-www.cs.umass.edu/lfw/results.html

    Right now most systems get very messed up with anything odd for highlighting especially around the nose. Larger sunglasses would defeat most matches. If google's virtual glasses catch on that may also hinder it further. Anything that keeps the face in shadow would be good, netting may be overkill depending on the camera angle. _MOST_ ctv have crappy image quality for anything further away.

    I know on sunny days I currently wear something from http://www.sundayafternoons.com/store/mens-sun-hats/ Helps fight skin cancer and more brim will cause more shadows and worse camera views.

    I guess if worse comes to worse there are always the comedy glasses with attached noses
    I really like those wide-brimmed hats. Most cameras tend to be placed up high, so those hats will certainly obscure their view most of the time. In cases where I wanted absolute assurance of hiding my identity I'd still prefer something that completely covered the face; but for general purpose privacy, those wide-brimmed, somewhat-floppy hats are a good idea. To make them even more effective, one could tilt such a hat forward as much as possible and keep one's head down a bit, looking at the ground while walking. Also, one of those hats could be combined with other countermeasures, such as sunglasses or even a fake beard.
    "Man lives freely only by his readiness to die." -- Mohandas K. Gandhi

    "Generally speaking, the way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death." -- Miyamoto Musashi

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuerrillaXXI View Post
    or even a fake beard.
    Or just grow out a real beard
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  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainAmerica View Post
    facial recognition uses thermal imaging and can probably accurately take a heat signature for each person that looks specifically different.
    Actually, most FR doesn't use thermal imaging, though there has been research into using it for that purpose. I don't think the reason for using thermal cameras is to get a unique thermal signature for each person; it's simply to deal with the effects of lighting, e.g., to see parts of the face that would otherwise be obscured by shadows. Apart from that, I don't think it has any advantages over regular FR. Also, thermal cameras are very, very expensive.

    The thermal signature of a person's face isn't fixed. In fact, there have been studies investigating the use of the changing thermal signature in the face for lie detection:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18001935

    Note that it's definitely not fool-proof even for this purpose.

    In any case, anything that obscures the face will also obscure or alter the thermal signature.
    Last edited by GuerrillaXXI; 05-19-2012 at 12:27 PM.
    "Man lives freely only by his readiness to die." -- Mohandas K. Gandhi

    "Generally speaking, the way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death." -- Miyamoto Musashi

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standing Like A Rock View Post
    Or just grow out a real beard
    You could, but the advantage of a fake one is that you can take it off or put it on as needed.

    A good time to have a huge, massive, ZZ Top beard for real is when getting one's photo taken for a government ID.
    Last edited by GuerrillaXXI; 05-19-2012 at 12:21 PM.
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  16. #15
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    *Legal Disclaimer: While I am a keen researcher and want nothing more than to help people, I am not a doctor and more importantly, I am not your doctor. Any article I post that contains general information about medical conditions, treatments and remedies is to bring awareness. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such. You should never delay seeking medical advice, or discontinue any medical treatment because of information in an article I have posted. The only advice I would give is to continue to research further and use discernment with all advice.

  17. #16

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    If these cameras rely on normal lighting, it's possible to buy photographer's gel-some can be used to make a surface shiny, some for dulling. (I only know a little bit about product photography, but I know this kind of stuff exists and is readily available)
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  18. #17

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    I've heard that gummy bear can fool the figure print scanners. I'll bet all you need is a picture on a stick like that big floating Ron Paul head in a video a while back.

    Perhaps a jalapeno on a stick to get through immigration.
    Last edited by Carson; 05-19-2012 at 02:14 PM.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by donnay View Post
    I'd be wary of the sunglasses/hoodie approach, especially as FR systems mature. Vile anti-privacy researchers like Allen Yang of U.C. Berkeley have developed algorithms that let FR systems identify faces even in the presence of disguises ("occlusion"), poor lighting, etc. Here's a Q&A by Yang himself (PDF file):

    http://perception.csl.uiuc.edu/recog...itionQandA.pdf

    As mentioned in the above essay, their method currently only works well for frontal face recognition. Also note that much of the research in this field is done using databases of face images, and these databases tend to be limited in size. Here are some examples. Note the few number of people in the databases:

    http://vision.ucsd.edu/~leekc/ExtYal.../ExtYaleB.html

    http://www2.ece.ohio-state.edu/~aleix/ARdatabase.html

    Thus, it would seem that success with a particular algorithm using one or more of these databases is a far cry from success with a nation of 300 million people.

    Even so, someone who needs to go somewhere without being identified shouldn't take chances. At bare minimum I'd wear sunglasses and one of those hats with the wide, floppy brims. If I were going on "Mission Impossible," I'd wear something completely over my head.

    Probably the best rule of thumb at this point is that if someone who knows you would recognize you, then you should assume that a computer can recognize you, too. This may be overstating things at the present time, but better safe than sorry.

    -----

    Now for some good news. Here's an article on the current state of FR (at least as of 2010):

    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/inn...id=t__g3ZH4hGG

    It's hard to teach a machine to know a human face -- and it's harder still to teach a computer to identify one face from any other.

    That may be comforting news for people worried about governments using facial recognition systems to surveil the public -- in effect, ending anonymity.

    Technologists say those ideas exist only in science fiction movies -- at least for now.

    "I don't think, currently, any facial recognition system is good enough for security purposes -- not even close, actually," said Yi Ma, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois, and a visiting researcher at Microsoft Research in China.

    Using face recognition for surveillance or to identify people at borders and in airports has been tried in limited settings, Ma said, but it is at least a decade if not much further away from becoming real and reliable.
    Last edited by GuerrillaXXI; 05-19-2012 at 02:11 PM.
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    Member John F Kennedy III's Avatar
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    Full body plastic surgery once a week. Which you will have to perform on yourself since you can't trust anyone with your identity.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standing Like A Rock View Post
    Or just grow out a real beard
    Like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Origanalist View Post
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  22. #21

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    Well, I got Rand started on his campaign (just search around here to see). I advised Thomas Massie before he ran for Congress. I am currently advising 2 liberty campaigns for the state legislature. I ran the war-room and won Minnesota for Ron Paul a few weeks back. There are other things I'm probably forgetting.
    Yet I can't afford $200 to go to a seminar--Matt Collins

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kluge View Post
    That wouldn't work, even if someone actually wanted to go that route. The facial features are all exposed except the nose.

    Prosthetic makeup, on the other hand, would probably work very well if enough of the face was covered. If done right, it might not even look like a disguise.
    "Man lives freely only by his readiness to die." -- Mohandas K. Gandhi

    "Generally speaking, the way of the warrior is resolute acceptance of death." -- Miyamoto Musashi

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuerrillaXXI View Post
    That wouldn't work, even if someone actually wanted to go that route. The facial features are all exposed except the nose.

    Prosthetic makeup, on the other hand, would probably work very well if enough of the face was covered. If done right, it might not even look like a disguise.
    Really? Even with the eyebrows being in a different place, the nose being majorly different and the lips being drawn differently from reality?

    Huh. I have no idea how this thing works, obviously.
    Well, I got Rand started on his campaign (just search around here to see). I advised Thomas Massie before he ran for Congress. I am currently advising 2 liberty campaigns for the state legislature. I ran the war-room and won Minnesota for Ron Paul a few weeks back. There are other things I'm probably forgetting.
    Yet I can't afford $200 to go to a seminar--Matt Collins

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kluge View Post
    You're a meany-pants.
    I know you are, but what am I?
    Last edited by Danke; 05-19-2012 at 07:24 PM.
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  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standing Like A Rock View Post
    Or just grow out a real beard
    If I could grow beard it would look very strange on me.

  27. #26

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    These systems work similar to skeleton and facial tracking setups in the movie industry. I could write one in Flash in about a day. They take a set of markers and place them at key points on the face, do a bit of trig to have a straight on profile and do some quick calcs to get the various ratios and then do a lookup search for similar parameters and the recursively check through those to get the closest match. This can be beaten with simple makeup. If yer nose is crooked then get a highlight pencil and crook your nose opposite with a highlight line or make it straight. Adjust the shadowing of your eyes. Again. a liitle bit of dark here and some light there and to the software your face topology has changed. As well if the camera is using YUV colorspace which most surveillance cams do then you can kill the luminance channel and defeat the tracking with a layer of reflective light blue (tammy faye eye makeup) which essentially will turn the facial image into a blue screen/green screen. They used this technique for graphics and secondary image insertion by coloring a portion of the screen with that blue and inserting and image into the screen at that ratio and screen position.

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  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Danke View Post
    U should wear a burka.
    CAREFUL THERE!

    In the war against our freedoms, we must comply to the terrorist's rules, 100% in compliance, so they won't attack us...
    Therefore, only women must wear the burkas. Beards may be required for the men in some instances.

    Wearing novelty glasses with an attached fake nose and two fake eyeballs on springs, is still completely optional.

  29. #28

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    if you want to defeat these systems, get a job running them and be about as competent at it as your average government worker
    “If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.”

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