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AI named after V For Vendetta masks protects photos from being gathered by facial recognition apps

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Clearview AI is just one of many facial recognition firms scraping billions of online images to create a massive database for purchase – but a new program could block their efforts. Researchers designed an image clocking tool that makes subtle pixel-level changes that distort pictures enough so they cannot be used by online scrapers – and claims it is 100 percent effective. Named in honor of the'V for Vendetta' mask, Fawkes is an algorithm and software combination that'cloaks' an image to trick systems, which is like adding an invisible mask to your face. These altered pictures teach technologies a distorted version of the subject and when presented with an'uncloaked' form, the scraping app fails to recognize the individual. 'It might surprise some to learn that we started the Fawkes project a while before the New York Times article that profiled in February 2020,' researchers from the SANLab at University of Chicago shared in a statement.