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Issue 24: How to Hack Your Face to Avoid Facial Recognition Technology
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Issue 24: How to Hack Your Face to Avoid Facial Recognition Technology

While the use of social media and smartphones is voluntary, facial recognition may not be something one can opt out of. In this age, even walking in public may result in being photographed. This week, we explore surveillance technology, hacking your face to avoid being recognized, a rotary cell phone and more. 

Hack Your Face to Avoid Recognition Technology

Facial recognition technology is being implemented by governments and companies alike, from shopping malls to law enforcement to sporting grounds—making privacy a concept of the past.

China has notoriously used facial recognition technology to profile minorities and one company, Clearview AI, has been criticized for scraping billions of images from social networks for their facial recognition software that's sold to law enforcement companies.

The future legislation of facial recognition is being debated right now, but if you want to avoid being recognized, the two main ways to do so are occlusion and confusion. One company called Reflectales, which makes anti-surveillance reflective eyewear and sunglasses, even launched on Kickstarter this past summer.

A Rotary Cell Phone Designed By A Space Engineer

What does an astronomy instrumentation engineer with an aversion to smartphones do in their spare time?

Create a rotary cell phone, of course. Justine Haupt considered her flip phone even too invasive, because of the demands from her friends and family for her to text back. She paired a 3D model casing with a 3G phone to create an even more analog experience.

The phone is available in kit form here, on her website for her robotics company, interestingly enough. Perhaps a sign that she thinks technology should be our slaves rather than the other way around?

IRL Prompt: Go Stargazing

When's the last time you went out and looked at the stars in the night sky above us?

Research proves that stargazing, which evokes a feeling of awe, has been found to expand your perception of time and increase your overall well-being. We suggest a night out in nature, sans cellphones, perhaps with a blanket, a mug of hot chocolate, and a campfire to admire the stars above.

Another reason to do this sooner than later: apparently Elon Musk has been putting so many satellites up in space that their presence is actually changing the night sky.

Thank you for reading The Slow Scroll this week! Please feel free to share your thoughts on facial recognition—just e-mail us here with any feedback, thoughts, or other tips on living IRL.
Send this to a friend who needs to stop scrolling on Instagram. Then hang out with them in IRL.

Why ‘The Slow Scroll’?


Social Isolation is Killing Us. Tech companies are failing us. And we’re all hopelessly addicted to our screens.

Living IRL has never been more important.

That’s why we created The Slow Scroll, a biweekly newsletter by IRL Labs, sent directly to your inbox (oh the irony). The Slow Scroll curates the latest and most inspiring content and resources, empowering readers to untether and live slowly.

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