New glasses block facial recognition software

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 23, 2013 05:30 hrs

London, Jan 23 (IANS) A newly-designed pair of glasses dubbed "privacy visor" can reportedly thwart hidden cameras using facial-recognition software, BBC reported.

The prototype spectacles have been designed by scientists at Tokyo's National Institute of Informatics.

The glasses are equipped with a near-infrared light source that "confuses" the software without affecting vision.

Law enforcers, shops and social networks are increasingly using facial-recognition software.

"As a result of developments in facial recognition technology in Google images, Facebook etc and the popularisation of portable terminals that append photos with photographic information... essential measures for preventing the invasion of privacy caused by photographs taken in secret and unintentional capture in camera images is now required," said university professor Isao Echizen.

Echizen said the glasses, which connect to a pocket power supply, would be reasonably priced, but there are some simpler alternatives.

According to an online guide by hacker group Anonymous, heavy make-up or a mask will also work, as will tilting your head at a 15-degree angle, which fools the software into thinking you do not have a face.

BBC said that in November, it emerged some shop mannequins in Italy were collecting data on shoppers using facial-recognition software.

The EyeSee mannequin logs the age, gender and race of passers-by through a camera hidden behind one eye.

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