Primary CV-Dazzle Failure Mode: Looking like a goofball.

Russian artists wear anti-facial recognition make-up... and get arrested

Thick black and red lines criss-cross the faces of young Russian men and women in a number of photos published on Facebook and Telegram. They've joined the 'Sledui' campaign, Russian for 'follow'. [...]

"We don't want to be caught in the lenses of video surveillance cameras without our consent. We don't want these new technologies to take over. We use make-up to shield ourselves from surveillance and facial recognition for a few minutes, turning this make-up into a symbol of disobedience," Nenasheva explains on her Facebook page. [...]

On February 9, Ekaterina Nenasheva published a new series of photos of herself wearing the distorting make-up -- but this time she's in the back of a police car. "They arrested us yesterday for wearing this make-up, and now they are accusing us of having taken part in a non-authorised event -- just for wearing it," the artist wrote on her Facebook page.

I've seen a lot of armchair pundits saying, "Pfffff, everybody knows that CV-Dazzle doesn't work", but it's very much all [citation needed] because I've seen anecdata on both sides. Have there been any rigorous attempts, or just performance art projects like this?

Though the dazzle that these people are wearing looks very ineffective.

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14 Responses:

  1. We all know dazzle only works if you are an extremely large boat in the distance

  2. davx8342 says:

    I got half a day of home schooling with my two girls (4 and 7) out of watching a youtube video about facial recognition for 'context'. And then the fun part of cutting out coloured shapes and sticking them to our faces and trying the various things like Apple Photos, Google Photos, Facebook etc to see if we could fool any of them. The very unscientific result was that Apple photos did terribly. We couldn't fool Google Photos no matter what we tried.

  3. a0 says:

    This will not protect you from spot checks. If I were an evil oligarchy, I would simply pay a horde of dipshits 5 cents an hour to manually place keypoints on your colorful cyberpunk faces, seen at an event of interest.

    • jwz says:

      Dude, armchair pontificating is pretty much exactly what I was asking not to hear.

      • a0 says:

        Ugh, sorry. I am the dope.

        I am getting anxiety thinking of people going out there with their faces obscured like this and thinking they won't get matched.

  4. MattyJ says:

    Future comedians and politicians will have to explain why there exists 30 year old photos of them in dazzleface.

  5. Patrick LeClair says:

    I did find this, Dazzle is discussed:

    "Based on the comprehensive study of fashion camouflages, we develop a tool that can facilitate digital art design for fashion camouflage with the goal of anti-face-recognition. This tool can first find the prominent facial features from input facial image; and then give suggestions for camouflage options (makeup, styling, paints) on particular facial components from computer vision perspectives to artists. Evaluation of this tool shows that it can effectively aid the artists or designers in creating effective (thwarting) camouflage designs. The evaluation on suggested camouflages that applied on 40 celebrities across eight different face recognition systems (both non-commercial or commercial) shows that 82.5% ~ 100% of times the subject is unrecognizable using the suggested camouflage."

    • margaret says:

      according to some experts (a dude i work with) not much as changed since this came out because everyone uses the same pre-trained models in production. if that changes before the statute of limitations expires on whatever you've been recorded doing while while in disguise is a different question.

      See also: Chinese 'gait recognition' tech IDs people by how they walk

      “Using biometric recognition to maintain social stability and manage society is an unstoppable trend,” he said. “It’s great business.”

      • Nick Lamb says:

        That's a bottomless pit for Military R&D money. Mark Nixon is quoted in that piece, did you notice? Twenty years before that piece was written Mark's lab was paying my friends a crisp note each to walk in front of a green screen so they can collect data for one of these projects.

        The military pays for your lab (which does "gait analysis" and also some things that actually work but have few military applications) and you report that this year you got 0.5% better on some metric at recognizing one of two dozen people from a test set, but you're going to need next year's money to improve further. It's not quite a scam I guess, but it's certainly much easier to live with yourself knowing the money would otherwise be spent blowing people up, it's not like you took it from a fund that was otherwise going to feed the hungry or build homes or something. Does Mark really "believe you are totally unique in the way you walk"? Sure, why not, delusional professor isn't a new category.

  6. Zygo says:

    CV-Dazzle is the face-painting equivalent of XKCD 1105. "The perp is the one with the exploded penguin painted on her face. All us coppers follow her on Facebook, where she helpfully posts reference photos. She doesn't seem to understand how surveillance states work. We won't tell her if you won't."

    Whether CV-Dazzle works or not, humans will just say "OK, enough is enough, wearing CV-Dazzle in public is a crime now," the same way they did with other face masks and coverings (and even sunglasses) in various places. Given the choice between tolerating covered faces in public and increased COVID-19 spread, governments and business owners often prefer the virus. CV-Dazzle doesn't even have the public health argument to support it.

    So...what's the use case for working CV-Dazzle? Wouldn't face makeup that makes the robots identify you, with high confidence, as some other random human (preferably one employed in law enforcement or politics) be much better?

    • jwz says:

      Wouldn't face makeup that makes the robots identify you, with high confidence, as some other random human (preferably one employed in law enforcement or politics) be much better?

      As soon as you post that makeup tutorial, it's gonna get a lot of views, for sure.

    • Tis and angry and vengeful economy says:

      Ooh mission impossible

      Dun dun dun-dun

  7. apm74 says:

    I'm having a weird Mandela Effect moment, could have sworn you posted a "Ha! Everyone knows Dazzle doesn't work against current face recognition algorithms" story here just the other day. Now I can't find where I did encounter that blog post/news story (it wasn't the one linked here).

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