As top designers wrapped up London Fashion Week and made their way to Paris to grab the world’s attention with their lavish creations, a group of artists in London were making their own fashion statement, in a bid to become invisible.
Emily Roderick, 23, and her cohorts in “The Dazzle Club” walked around the British capital last week with blue, red and black stripes painted across their faces in an effort to escape the watchful eye of facial-recognition cameras.
The artists took their silent stroll through the city’s King’s Cross area hoping their bold make-up would act as camouflage and confuse the cameras.
“We’re hiding in plain sight,” Roderick told the Thomson Reuters Foundation, explaining that bright colours and dark shades of make-up are known to hamper a camera’s ability to accurately recognise faces.
Computers have become adept at identifying people in recent years, unlocking a myriad of applications for facial recognition, from tracking criminals to counting truants.
But as cameras appear at unlikely spots across the globe, activists raise fears about lost privacy and say society might be on the doorstep of a dystopia where Big Brother sees all.
Altering people’s looks to cheat cameras has become increasingly popular with artists and designers in recent years, as the use of facial recognition has grown more pervasive, raising fears over privacy, according to fashion experts.
From sunglasses to face masks, numerous wearable devices promising a veil of anonymity are making their way into the mainstream, said Henry Navarro Delgado, an art and fashion professor at Canada’s Ryerson University.