Privacy tools against facial recognition

What are your thoughts on software that tries to counter facial recognition AI (like Fawkes (GitHub - Shawn-Shan/fawkes: Fawkes, privacy preserving tool against facial recognition systems. More info at ? Is it efficient ? What are the best tools available ?

The only problem I see with something like this is that it will always be a cat and mouse game. When you make a tool to defeat facial recognition, the facial recognition will just improve to counter it. I think the best way to avoid facial recognition picking up your face from pictures is to just block out the face in the picture.


Thanks for the reply ! That might work in certain situations but some of us have to upload a profile picture in LinkedIn for example, so it doesn’t make sense to block out the face…

I think threat modeling is the most important thing in these kinds of cases. If you decide to or are required to make certain information publicly available, then it’s helpful to think about the likelihood of unacceptable consequences.

In the case of AI deep learning, this seems like an interesting project and I agree with @mfwmyfacewhen concerning the cat and mouse issue. To my knowledge, we haven’t looked at tools like Fawkes enough to make a reliable evaluation of them yet, but the research is really interesting and I’m going to look for secondary sources on its approach.

In the meantime, if the minor quality degradation is acceptable to you, the pixel-level alterations the authors describe don’t seem to have much of a downside. You should ensure that you trust the tool, but—even if it’s ineffective—I can’t see any immediate issues.

Like I said, I’ve only taken a glance, so this isn’t an endorsement.

Update: I’m starting with this paper, so thanks @woheba for bringing the field to my reading list! :slight_smile: