Activists’ Must-Have: Identity Replacement Tech


URME Surveillance

There have been attempts at foiling facial recognition surveillance technology before, but the new and most sophisticated tools yet are arriving in the form of “identity replacement tech.” CNET describes the Personal Surveillance Identity Prosthetic, which “gives you a whole new face”:

If the world starts looking like a scene from “Matrix 3” where everyone has Agent Smith’s face, you can thank Leo Selvaggio.

His rubber mask aimed at foiling surveillance cameras features his visage, and if he has his way, plenty of people will be sporting the Personal Surveillance Identity Prosthetic in public. It’s one of three products made by the Chicago-based artist’s URME Surveillance, a venture dedicated to “protecting the public from surveillance and creating a safe space to explore our digital identities.”

“Our world is becoming increasingly surveilled. For example, Chicago has over 25,000 cameras networked to a single facial recognition hub,” reads the URME (pronounced U R Me) site. “We don’t believe you should be tracked just because you want to walk outside and you shouldn’t have to hide either. Instead, use one of our products to present an alternative identity when in public.”

The 3D-printed resin mask, made from a 3D scan of Selvaggio’s face and manufactured, renders his features and skin tone with surprising realism, though the eyes peeping out from the eye holes do lend a certain creepiness to the look.

Creepiness is, of course, part of the point here, as the interdisciplinary artist takes a his-face-in-everyone’s-face approach to exploring the impact of an increasingly networked world on personal identity…

[continues at CNET]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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5 Comments on "Activists’ Must-Have: Identity Replacement Tech"

  1. erte4wt4etrg | May 10, 2014 at 3:16 pm |

    ‘Alternative identity in public’…so our masks become literal now? The all seeing eye inverted to Sauron’s surveillance pupil, me watching you watching me x infinity…i,robot! (would the real big brother pls stand up?)

  2. stealth advertising for The Following?

  3. Cortacespedes | May 10, 2014 at 6:56 pm |

    Nah. I think I’ll just wait for the availability of the “scramble suit” from “A Scanner Darkly”. Just a mask, ain’t gonna cut it.

    “As the computer looped through its banks, it projected every conceivable eye color, hair color, shape and type of nose, formation of teeth, configuration of facial bone structure – the entire shroudlike membrane took on whatever physical characteristics were projected at any nanosecond, then switched to the next…

    In any case, the wearer of a scramble suit was Everyman and in every combination (up to combinations of a million and a half sub-bits) during the course of each hour. Hence, any description of him – or her – was meaningless.” – PKD

    • Great movie. And ya I posted some links to future technology they will be using. A mask will not come close to defeating these.

    • erte4wt4etrg | May 10, 2014 at 8:22 pm |

      Keanu (Buddha, the One) as everyman nobody, what a great movie

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