Japanese scientists have been working for years on the Privacy Visor. Now it is going on sale in Japan.
Scientists at the Echizen Laboratory at the National Institute of Informatics in Tokyo have been developing a way to avoid being recognized by face recognition software for years. Now the Privacy Visor is going on sale manufactured by Japanese Nissey Corp.
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The Privacy Visor features a mesh-like screen mounted on titanium temples. The screen with the complicated looking cut-outs that are aimed at messing with the shadow patterns around your eyes that face recognition software is using to identify faces.
The Privacy Visor has a big drawback. It does not provide full clear vision and is therefore not recommended to be used while driving. The inventors say that the Privacy Visor is especially useful to wear at popular tourist spots to avoid being recognizable on tourist photos online.
Professor Isao Echizen points to a 2011 study of Carnegie Mellon University that showed how to link people's photo to their social security id.
“Your face is the information that identifies you. It’s unstoppable once it’s leaked on the Web, because you can’t change it like a password,” Isao Echizen said to the Japanese Times.
The Privacy Visor only becomes useful for criminals and terrorists if all people are wearing these. Until then wearing a Privacy Visor is a big tell.
The Privacy Visor will go on sale online for ¥36,000 ($330) by end of May. Privacy hast its price.
Before the PrivacyVizor even made it on the market, it already received a spot in a museum. Since end of last year the Privacy Visor is shown in the German Museum of Technology in Berlin as part of the permanent collection "The Network."