back to article If it were possible to evade facial-recognition systems using just subtle makeup, it might look something like this

Makeup carefully applied to the forehead, cheeks, and nose may help you evade facial recognition systems, judging from these computer scientists' experimental work. Their described method is a form of adversarial attack, which generally involves subtly tweaking input data to trick machine-learning algorithms into …

  1. Little Mouse
    Holmes

    I'm not exactly surprised by this

    Wearing makeup can change what you look like.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm not exactly surprised by this

      "Wearing makeup can change what you look like."

      And for some people, *not* wearing makeup may change what they look like.

      Example from previous era: Roy Wood (of Wizzard fame); doubtless others are available.

      Still, I don't suppose there's much Venture Capital funding for pointing out these things, whereas putting it in a paper might lead eventually to $$$$.

    2. Rob Daglish Bronze badge

      Re: I'm not exactly surprised by this

      Local AmDram group have been performing "Kinky Boots" last week. Turns out half the cast couldn't get facial recognition to work once they'd put their makeup on. Quite funny watching them trying to unlock their phones to pay in the local supermarket!

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    How much make up needed to

    look like Priti Patel ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How much make up needed to

      You are asking this on only behalf of a friend, ... I suppose?

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: How much make up needed to

      look like Priti Patel ?

      Why on God's green earth would you want to look like Priti Patel? Is it some sort of Fetish I don't know about?

      1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

        Re: How much make up needed to

        To have the computer point the finger at her in every demo perhaps?

        1. Ken G
          Holmes

          Re: How much make up needed to

          Like that German magazine who put the justice ministers fingerprint on the front cover (latex print)?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        Re: How much make up needed to

        The Police probably won't hassle you at all if the computer thinks you are accompanied by a right wing Home Secretary, although you might be subject to a bit of kow-towing by any senior officers present. You could just wear a T-shirt with her mug on it of course.

        Most facial recognition systems start by trying to find faces anywhere in the image, so you could probably have it on tattooed your arse and it would still work, except you would have to walk backwards without any trousers on.

        1. Yet Another Hierachial Anonynmous Coward

          Re: How much make up needed to

          "you would have to walk backwards without any trousers on"

          I think that is Standard Operating Procedure for political crawlers and wannabees in the corridors of power.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How much make up needed to

        Once upon a time I have what purported to be Richard Nixons Social Security Number memorized. Doing some odd job where they need something that could plausibly be a SSN? Tricky Dick apparently needed the cash!

        So having Priti Patel do all kinds of more or less nefarious things sounds like an interesting notion.

    3. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: How much make up needed to

      Depends on your starting point, but given that most "AI" systems struggle to recognise brown as a legitimate skin colour, I doubt most of them would recognise the actual Priti Patel as Priti Patel.

      1. Ken G

        Re: How much make up needed to

        I knew she was computer generated!

  3. TRT Silver badge

    Has anyone considered...

    the susceptibility of CMOS-based cameras to cosmetic radiation?

    1. jonathan keith Silver badge

      Re: Has anyone considered...

      As I understand it, they're fine with cosmetic infrared radiation, iffy with cosmetic microwave radiation, and cosmetic x- and gamma ray radiation are definite no-nos.

      Just as well they don't use radium in makeup any more. Or butter.

  4. Bitsminer Bronze badge

    Evidence

    I'm glad to see they didn't make up their evidence.

  5. herman Silver badge
    Devil

    Black is beautiful

    Everybody should wear pitch black wagon grease makeup at all times.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "trained observers may be wise to your caper and stop you"

    In the supermarket ?

    Under what authority ?

    You can still wear any garment you wish in civilized countries, can't you ?

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: "trained observers may be wise to your caper and stop you"

      > You can still wear any garment you wish in civilized countries, can't you ?

      Oh DAHling, how deLIGHTfully naif! One wouldn't be seen DEAD in last season's styles.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "trained observers may be wise to your caper and stop you"

      That won't stop people turning to stare at you - you may find yourself with witnesses in place of cameras.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. ShadowSystems

    Full face gas mask.

    If anyone complains tell them it's what you wear instead of a mere paper mouth/nose mask on the grounds that you want to be extra cautious. Apply one of those holographic stickers to the inside of the face plate so that you can see out just fine but anyone looking in only sees the sticker. I like the one of the rotting, maggot infested, zombie as it tends to cause revulsion in nosy buggers. Bonus is that you can remove it for identification purposes (at the bank, for an official photo, to get the cop to stop yammering, etc) but then put it back on the moment such need is done, and almost nobody will dare to tell you to remove it because that would be openly telling someone to remove a face mask during a plague. Now if you'll excuse me I have some eerie green chemical glowsticks to purchase & stick in the inside edges of my mask so I can ask folks if they're my mummy...

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Full face gas mask.

      5V green LED tape is cheap and runs for days on one of those external phone batteries.

  9. Jim Birch

    Makeup detection

    I bet an AI can be trained to detect make up and see through make up with the correct training set and good quality images. That's what we do.

    We are talking about an arms race here.

    1. parlei

      Re: Makeup detection

      And even if the face is covered (full face mask with suitable holographic image?) there is walking pattern, physical stats (length, wide/narrow shoulders, etc) that can be used.

      Arms race. All the way

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Makeup detection

        If you were paranoid you could use an insole or elasticated knee brace to throw that off too.

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Makeup detection

      If you watch makeup-tutorial YouTube, you will find lots of videos about "contouring" - using different colours of makeup to make your face look like a different shape to what it actually is.

      That wouldn't fool a 3d camera, but most of these facial recognition systems don't use 3d cameras.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Makeup detection

      What's wrong with a stocking over the head? Works in The Sweeney. Deconvolve THAT!

    4. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Makeup detection

      its a face race

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Makeup detection

        Boat race.

  10. Winkypop Silver badge
    Terminator

    THX1138

    If you feel you are not properly sedated, call 348-844 immediately. Failure to do so may result in prosecution for criminal drug evasion.

  11. Ken G
    Paris Hilton

    Contouring?

    Oh no, if the AI discovers women can shape shift they'll call the Church!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Contouring?

      They just need to incorporate weight-sensing floor tiles as a check-measure... if she weighs less than a duck... BURN HER!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does that mean..

    .. that people like Eddie Izzard simply don't register?

    He's even smarter than I already thought.

    :)

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Much easier...

    You could just wear a burkha, of course.

  14. Dale 3

    AI

    Unless you wear a different pattern of makeup every time you go out, the AI will simply learn your makeup pattern as another identity and carry on tracking it. It may not immediately connect that identity to "you", but it wouldn't take much for either a human or an AI to make the connection.

  15. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    Why bother with all of this? Just wear a white shirt that says "coffee pot" in large print and it will never spot you.

  16. Bartholomew Bronze badge
    Coat

    So the solution is ...

    To write UNKNOWN on your forehead with mascara (which is guanine, made from fish scales), then the AI knows that nothing fishy is going on, and just lets you pass.

    It is a bit like a social engineer in the future walking, no strolling at a leisurely pace, into a high security AI protected area wearing a T-shirt that says "Computer Upgrades" - every door just automagically opens for them.

    1. doesnothingwell

      Re: So the solution is ...

      "strolling at a leisurely pace, into a high security AI protected area wearing a T-shirt that says"

      qr code for DROP TABLES faces;

      1. Bartholomew Bronze badge

        Re: So the solution is ...

        https://imgur.com/a/5kJi3yR

        I'm still not seeing how that would work, AI scans QR code, it sees text. Are saying that the AI is going to run the line of text in an interactive shell on the production environment, that should never happen, unless there is a bug or two.

  17. gnasher729 Silver badge

    Apples faceid

    FaceID works by measuring the distance between the camera and your face, with about 300,000 pixels total. Seems to be totally unaffected by makeup unless you apply filler :-) Should also be fine with different skin colours.

    Just haven’t heard of any commercial source for that camera. And it can’t be trained with photos.

    1. the Jim bloke Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: Apples faceid

      .. but apparently can have trouble recognising people first thing in the morning - which suggests an inability to do facial recognition WITHOUT makeup.

      just throw faceid and morning into a google search...

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