If you are not comfortable with the surveillance cameras, an identity replacement technology that is basically a Surveillance identity prosthetic provides you a new face. If you find all people around you having the same face like you saw the agents in Matrix 3, then Leo Selvaggio is the one to thank.
He has designed a rubber mask with the aim to foil surveillance cameras. The mask features his own visage, and if he gets his way, then many people would be supporting this Prosthetic in Public. He is basically a Chicago-based artist and this prosthetic is among the three products that he made the venture known as URME Surveillance. This venture has been formulated for the purpose of protecting the people from surveillance and for giving them a safe space for the purpose of exploring their digital identities.
The URME stated that:
“Our world is becoming increasingly surveilled. For example, Chicago has over 25,000 cameras networked to a single facial recognition hub.” It was further stated on the website that, “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.”
It is basically a 3D printed resin mask which has been made by using a 3D scan (of Selvaggio’s face) and has been formulated by Thatsmyface.com. The mask renders both his skin tone and his features and provides quite a realistic look. However, the eyes which appear from the eye holes in the mask look a bit creepy.
Well, creepiness is actually a part of the whole idea of the artist i.e. “my face in your face”. This approach is with the aim of exploring the impacts which have been caused by this hugely networked era on personal identity.
The artists said that:
“When you wear these devices the cameras will track me instead of you and your actions in public space will be attributed as mine because it will be me the cameras see.” He further said that, “All URME devices have been tested for facial recognition and each properly identifies the wearer of me on Facebook, which has some of the most sophisticated facial recognition software around.”
This is how it works:
Some of the states do not allow people to wear masks of such sort in public. Solveggio previously launched a project known as You Are Me and it allowed the people to use his profiles on social media. He has said that he realizes the possibility of people using his mask for indulging in some illegal activity.
The artist said that:
“I would of course like to believe that others will use these devices responsibly and I can’t be clearer that I do not condone criminal activity,” he told Crave. “However it is possible, and I have weighed out the possibility that a crime may become associated with me. That being said, I have come to the conclusion that it is worth the risk if it creates public discourse around surveillance practices and how it affects us all.”
The IndieGoGo campaign of URME has generated around 500 dollars and the goal that they have set is 1000 dollars. However, there are still about 36 days left for that. The products also include a paper mask which only costs 1 dollar. On the other hand, the prosthetic masks cost about 200 dollars. Group kits having sets of 12 to 24 paper masks are also available for groups.
URME insists on selling all the products at cost, without generating any profits and the proceeds would be used to keep the activities going.
Selvaggio has also said in a statement that:
“To be clear, I am not anti-surveillance,” the artist told Crave. “What I am pushing for is increasing the amount of public discourse about surveillance and how it affects our behavior in public space. When we are watched we are fundamentally changed. We perform rather than be.”