Hyperface: fashion at the service of privacy

Imagine a facial recognition system that operates 24 hours a day, intercepting our biometric data when we go shopping, while we are working or surfing the Internet. And this is done to gather information on our shopping pr
eferences, to discover what products we use and which, instead, we don’t.

Facial recognition technology, used for commercial purposes to identify, remember our habits and make us real-time offers, is becoming more and more common. Suffice it to say that the first Amazon checkout-free and queue-free foodstore which, by scanning your face, connects you and automatically charges the payment to your account, has already opened in Seattle and will soon be followed by another one in Great Britain.

But what happens when technology goes against other technology? When two realities that are the result of progress fight against each other?

Adam Harvey is an artist and hacker from Berlin who has designed and developed a fabric, Hyperface, which can crash facial recognition systems through a system of “false positives”: this is essentially a pattern composed of a myriad of hypothetical constitutive elements of a face – eyes and mouths and noses – that can confuse sensors. The result? A mix of false digital faces in which the original one can no longer be identified.

The Hyperface fabric can be used for any garment – a dress, a scarf, a hat – and protects the privacy of anyone interested in enjoying such protection.  In short, technology at the service of individuals to defend themselves against technology itself!