Encrypted Reality

Everywhere we go we leave digital tracks. Surveillance cameras can detect our face, recognize our face and even link our face in time to a location or event. The same digital process happens everywhere at anytime – for example like on social media where we are tagged in photos. Our identity can simply be disclosed based on an image of our face. Facial recognition is balancing on the thin line of our intimacy and can invade our privacy.

What happens to the image of my face?
Are we prepared to give up our privacy out of fear?
Is the freedom I put aside by giving up my own image worth the safety I get back?

Protect Me is the brand I created to physically protect ourselves against the abstract technologies around us. I present a collection of glasses, a series of face prosthesis and a series of necklaces. The glasses will make sure that the faces of the people wearing them will be not detected. The face prosthesis will allow faces to be detected without being unidentifiable. And the necklaces are slingshots – a symbol for rebellion – that can be worn as a mask. The diversity in products means that the brand does not solely focus on glasses, but is a platform for more kind of products that strive to achieve the same goal.
This goal is to raise awareness about privacy and safety. At the same time I want to confront people with the presence of facial recognition in our everyday lives. I designed the glasses by trying not to circumvent facial recognition on Facebook, Snapchat and the iPhone camera. I don’t want to judge people on the platforms they use, I want them to stay critical. I want people to think about the risks of facial recognition and I want us to base our behavior on the pros and cons of this technology, instead of acting because of a lack of awareness.