I have an interest in old technology and programming. My personal philosophies align with FOSS and privacy.
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This article concerns me not be cause of the premise of it -- I've seen dozens of papers on the facial recognition craze, most notably its use in the iPhone X. However, the style of the article is not written as an article should be when approaching a technology that looks like it came straight out of Orwell's 1984. This technology literally attempts to read your innner thoughts and emotions from your expressions; much of what is described seems to be more like a transcript of the wet dream of James Clapper. If you know of a way to circumvent the thought police, feel free to shoot me an email. If you rough out the utopian visions of a mass surveillance state long enough, you can be reassured by a few half-hearted warnings of "oh, this might be a little dangerous, but still it's pretty cool!"
The BBC even references the recent BBC Radio 1's Biggest Weekend in Swansea where AFR was deployed, and swiftly arrested a man with an outstanding warrant. At first glance, this seems wonderful! Someone has been arrested who normally wouldn't. However, there is an unmentioned possibility. It is possible that someone is arrested who shouldn't. Your expressions may betray you. Perhaps you are planning a protest at the BBC against Television licensing, but find yourself in a jail cell before the pickets even go up. Thought policing is a dangerous and effective method to silence opposition to a group.
The best way to put into context the reason for AFR's existence is self-preservation. Surveillance is one of few systems in a government that is politically self-sustaining. If you live in a country where facial recognition is being demoed, actively resist it! Effective, (maybe) legal methods are detailed below.
- Use hoodies, hats, and other clothing to make it difficult to get a good image of your face.
- Refuse to identify yourself to law enforcement.
- Target your local government by forcing them to disclose information about surveillance, and cast them into the public eye.
- Your government should be afraid of you. Just as Lexington, Kentucky is.
- Engage in an art hobby.
- Avoid using technologies that feature facial recognition. Don't turn your profile into a testing profile!
- Don't wave to those cameras. It should be obvious that turning and looking gives a better image of your face.
- Plan routes with the least amount of cameras to and from your work.
- It is speculated that in London, the average person is seen by 70 CCTV cameras a day. Due to the high number of cameras, it may be difficult to find a feasible route.
- Encourage others to pursue similar methods.