MegaPixels: your face, whose datasets?
May 26, 2019 12:03 PM   Subscribe

MegaPixels is a project to document the origin and use of facial recognition datasets. In many cases, datasets generated by academic researchers in the United States (such as one created by Stanford University based on a webcam showing customers at now-defunct San Francisco cafe/laundromat/comedy venue BrainWash) have been used by researchers in countries like China, which as previously noted has been using facial recognition particularly on the Uighur ethnic minority group. MegaPixels is a project by Adam Harvey and Jules LaPlace. Harvey’s past projects include facial recognition-jamming disguises CV Dazzle (Previously.)

Other datasets have been captured at places like Duke University campus and via photos posted on websites; people have not given consent for these uses.

There was a public exhibit of the MegaPixels project in London in 2017 which included a kiosk where you could determine if your image was in one of the facial recognition databases. A similar search feature is planned for the website.

The there is also a page of the website with press links including one (Previously) about the use of YouTube videos of trans people, and a recent Washington Post editorial about Microsoft’s collaboration with a Chinese military university.
posted by larrybob (3 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
This is good stuff, especially considering the DHS' upcoming HART database. This is going to sound like a joke, but I sincerely wish that some celebrities would popularize CV Dazzle. Most people are so behind on the ways privacy is eroding that taking any noticeable step to protect yourself is still socially risky. That's gotta change.
posted by heatvision at 3:32 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]

Thanks for posting this. The speed at which these databases are being shared and monetized is increasingly alarming, especially considering the primary purchasers.
posted by aspersioncast at 9:39 AM on May 28

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