Fooling facial recognition surveillance cameras with cunning and crocheting

[Video Link]

Canadian yarn-lover and privacy-lover Howie Woo has developed an ingenious system for thwarting surveillance cameras that use face recognition technology. His solution involves crochet and LOLs. Here are more photos (via the Boing Boing Flickr Pool). More about Howie's playful creations here.


  1. I took one look at it, and thought, “That would be kick-ass for a Slenderman web original series.”

    I need to get out more.

  2. Wearing a mask or disguise in public is illegal in many places. Not a new development, the laws have been on the books for decades.  And drawing attention to yourself (as this will do) is rather defeating the purpose of attaining anonymity.

    1.  The trick is to get everyone to start wearing them. Remember V for Vendetta? Suddenly, everyone’s got one of those ruddy Guy Fawkes masks on… only this wouldn’t be as revolutionary. More ‘fun’.

    2. I agree. If you only want to thwart automated facial recognition, but be recognizable to humans, something like CV Dazzle is much more suitable.

      Also has the advantage that you get to live in a SciFi world instead of a comicbook world.

  3. If you shave your eyebrows and wear alternating wigs could it figure your face out?  Maybe have a hat with a second, more distinct face on it.  Creepy but it might work<

  4. Privacy loving man invokes Streisand effect, posts pictures and video of  himself with his ‘disguise’ on Boing Boing. Also colours hair purple, just in case people can’t identify him with the mask on.

  5. Super neat looking… just as a note, “real-world-applicable” (or what I’d call industrially viable) facial recognition systems aren’t even close yet. At the convention hall or in the developer’s testing lab, under perfectly controlled conditions, yes, but the idea that these kinds of systems are implemented and effective at your local airport or corporate headquarters is simply untrue.

  6. so it’s ok for a women to wear a wig,a tonne of make up with huge lashes…but it’s not ok to wear a mask?

  7. Did the “you can’t wear masks like that in public” crowd actually watch the video to the end?  Me thinks not. 

  8. There’s no red light camera on the corner of Railway Rd and Jackson Ave in Vancouver… :-D

    1. no, well, okay

      Edit: I see what you did there. You have hidden your actual comment behind an impenetrable mask. I must, reluctantly, ask that you ignore this reply.

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