Depending upon how you view that information, the systems are either an unwanted intrusion or a comfortable method of tracking nefarious persons and their activities.
"I propose that we change what's being surveilled," Selvaggio says. "URME's goal isn't simply to hide wearers, but rather to make a point out of their hiding. Changing the state of surveillance at our current rate of technological growth is impossible. I propose that we change what's being surveilled until the reason we are surveilled is no longer relevant."
Calling his project "anti-surveillance devices made for the public," Selvaggio is offering exceptionally life-like, if equally creepy, 3D printed masks of his own face to deter such practices.
Selvaggio says that if a person doesn't want to be identified via facial recognition, his full prosthetic or a less expensive paper mask will foil automated recognition software.
Selvaggio says his city, Chicago, is one of the most widely surveilled in the US through a huge array of CCTV cameras. The artist is also planning to offer a piece of open-source software capable of replacing faces in videos.
And does it actually work?
According to Selvaggio, the ultra-sophisticated facial recognition software used by Facebook is fooled into identifying anyone behind his masks as Leonardo Selvaggio, so there's that, anyway.
If you're so inclined, you can purchase the masks and software by supporting Selvaggio's URME Surveillance project on his Indiegogo page. For a $10 commitment, you'll receive the paper version of the artist's face, and if you decide no amount is too much to insure your anonymity, a pledge of $200 nets you a much more realistic version printed in resin material.
The URME Personal Surveillance Identity Prosthetic was made with the very latest in 3D printing technology from a pigmented hard resin. It's derived from a 3D scan of Selvaggio's face which features photorealistic skin tone, texture and hair. The masks themselves are made by ThatsMyFace.com, a 3D printing service and design bureau located in Oregon which was founded by a PhD from University of Cambridge's Computer Laboratory. The company uses patent-pending technology derived from facial reconstruction and facial analysis in transforming 2D portraiture into 3D sculptures.