New Eyeglasses Block Facial Recognition

facial recognitionPrivacy Concerns

Are you worried about your privacy? If you use social media, do you worry about your photo showing up somewhere you don’t want it? If these thoughts have crossed your mind, please keep reading.

This may have already happened to you…finding a photo on Facebook where you’re in the background. Thanks to Facebook’s facial recognition software, you can be easily identified and tagged in photos.

It’s possible that instead of a simple Facebook post, someone could record an image of you with less than honorable intentions. Someone could use facial recognition software similar to Facebook’s to identify you and then mine even more data about you using search engines. There might be a new way to protect yourself from this form of ‘identity theft.’

The answer just may lie in a pair of glasses.

Facial Recognition Software Scrambling Lenses

Japanese developers found a way to avoid this gross invasion of privacy. The National Institute of Informatics, a Japanese company, created a special pair of eyeglasses that can “block” your identity if your photo is taken. This device, called the Privacy Visor, scrambles light reflection and absorption by using 11 infrared lights. These lights blocks the facial recognition function of cameras from functioning properly. In essence, the lenses confuse facial recognition software that use the arrangement of facial shadows to identify people.

Wearing the visor causes your image to be distorted, and then it’s impossible to identify your facial features.

Product of Privacy

Most facial recognition scrambling eyewear is very large, bulky and impractical for day-to-day use. The visor is a sunglass lens that extends over the lenses of your typical eyewear, and is not a stand-alone product. The National Institute of Informatics created a more practical eyewear option in this privacy product industry that can foil the efforts of those working to identify you with facial recognition software.

The visor isn’t unattractive, but it’s certainly noticeable and not as stylish as a pair of fashion eyeglasses. The cost of the frames is about $240, so only people truly dedicated to security and privacy will be interested in such a product. For those truly concerned about privacy, this visor is a great option. It’s possible that future iterations of this device will be less conspicuous and mesh easily with an existing eyeglass frame. To read more about the facial recognition scrambling device, click here.