Some Shirts Hide You From Cameras—But Will Anyone Wear Them?

from ars technica

Right now, you’re more than likely spending the vast majority of your time at home. Someday, however, we will all be able to leave the house once again and emerge, blinking, into society to work, travel, eat, play, and congregate in all of humanity’s many bustling crowds.

The world, when we eventually enter it again, is waiting for us with millions of digital eyes—cameras, everywhere, owned by governments and private entities alike. Pretty much every state out there has some entity collecting license plate data from millions of cars—parked or on the road—every day. Meanwhile all kinds of cameras—from police to airlines, retailers, and your neighbors’ doorbells—are watching you every time you step outside, and unscrupulous parties are offering facial recognition services with any footage they get their hands on.

In short, it’s not great out there if you’re a person who cares about privacy, and it’s likely to keep getting worse. In the long run, pressure on state and federal regulators to enact and enforce laws that can limit the collection and use of such data is likely to be the most efficient way to effect change. But in the shorter term, individuals have a conundrum before them: can you go out and exist in the world without being seen?

More here.

Posted in Ideas, Innovation, Privacy, Technology and tagged , , , , , .


  1. This article is interesting because in the beginning, it really puts into perspective how much we are actually being watched through cameras every where we go. When the article said —fooling cameras is in many ways easier than fooling people”, it was a bit hard to believe because of how many cameras there are everywhere we go, easily identifying our faces. When I clicked on this, I read that a shirt can hide us from a camera which sounds close to impossible, but as I read on it was very interesting to read about what the scientist came up with. It was explained how people can have multiple different appearcances that can fool cameras and I agree with this because with all the makeup, wigs, artists, etc out there, I think it would easily be capable for someone to change their physical appearance and make it not so easy to catch them on a camera. I think the idea of the shrt is quite unique but I don’t think it would be very successful. I think this because ai think that people care too much about their clothing and what they look like that they would not want to wear an “ugly shirt” jsut to hide themselves from cameras. Also, because we live in a generation and time period where people have become so used to being watched through surveillance and having a lack of privacy especially through social media, I dont think they would care enough o buy a pice of clothing that essentially may not even work to fool a camera. It was a cool idea that they came up with but I just dont think it applies to our lifestyle today. Surveillamxe has become normalzied and people still make robberies, steal etc even knowing there are cameras around. One thing I found interesting that I did not know before reading this article was that cameras can be used to recognize different things such as masks in China,which was mentioned in the article. They said, “Facial recognition systems used in China, for example, have been trained to identify people who are wearing medical masks while trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or other illnesses.” I think it is very interesting that technology can be so intricate to find who has a mask on and hwo doesnt.

  2. The article, Some Shirts Hide You From Cameras—– But Will Anyone Wear Them instantly grabbed my attention simply from the title, but as I continued to read on the author gives us the audience a sense of how patrolled the world is by cameras. Personally, I have been aware of this for a significant amount of time now; simply by noticing cameras everywhere I go such as grocery stores, malls, coffee shops, and even random neighborhood streets. It is crazy in a sense because the author makes the audience realize we are really being watched all the time and we may not even know it. Because we the people are human and not superhuman we cannot be immune to getting picked up on camera surveillance, but scientist may have come up with a simple way we can be immune to the cameras. They highlighted the idea of simple things such as wearing wigs and utilizing makeup, etc. Wigs could come in handy because they could cover someone’s entire natural hair and makeup could make a person look different entirely whether it’s their complexion, eyes, etc. The scientist’s new idea involving the shirt I believe would have been influential in the 1980s but not in today’s current world. I think it would be effective in the 1980s for two main reasons; one being because surveillance cameras were not as advanced as they are today, therefore I think the shirt would have had the ability to confuse the camera from picking up the face or other elements of the human. The other reason I think it would have been more effective back then is that the society back then was way more civilized and not very materialistic as today’s era. For instance, nowadays people won’t wear a type of clothing unless it is a “name brand” such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, etc. Therefore not many people nowadays would wear a shirt like the one the scientist has come up with. In addition to that, not many people care whether or not they are being watched by cameras all the time, simply because we have become accustomed to it. All in all, I think the idea is cool but do not think it will be utilized by society at this current moment.

  3. This article really opens your eyes to how many cameras are constantly watching you. No matter where you go, no matter what, you are being watched. It is sort of scary because you can not do anything that you don’t want to be seen in public. I go to Seton Hall University, and even in the dorm buildings, there are cameras which are our own living space. This really concerns the issue of privacy because even some shop owners don’t even know about government cameras outside of their buildings. Parked cars are a good example. Parked cars are one of the biggest causes of traffic violations in this country and surprisingly, the main culprit of these cars being caught are cameras.I found an article from IMDB showing exactly how many cameras are in the biggest city in China, “Cities in China are under the heaviest CCTV surveillance in the world, according to a new analysis by Comparitech. But globally, many more cities are under increasing amounts of surveillance. In 2019, IHS Markit predicted that there would be 1 billion surveillance cameras worldwide by the end of last year (2021). According to the same report, 54 percent of the world’s cameras are located in China, which would equate to 540 million CCTV cameras as of 2021. With a population of 1.46 billion), this means there are 372.8 cameras per 1,000 people in China. This year, we have used this ratio to create estimated CCTV camera figures per Chinese city. Due to wildly different estimates and old figures, this seemed the most accurate and fairest way to try and gauge the sheer volume of camera figures in China.” This is a huge statistic and really opens your eyes to how many people are constantly watching you and how you also have to constantly watch what you are doing and not doing things that can risk you getting in trouble in public. Drug trafficking and selling in the street is one of the biggest causes for getting arrested in the street and most of the people doing it do not realize they are on camera. More people should be aware of how much they are being watched out there.

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