By B.N. Frank
The rise of “Surveillance Capitalism” by businesses and other entities has made it so that we’re all being subjected to data collection by multiple sources almost all of the time whether we’re conscious of it or not.
Some people willingly participate in data collection. Others don’t like it but believe there is no point doing anything to stop it. Then there are those who continue to try to reduce their involuntary participation. One way is by opting-out of dangerous 24/7 data collecting utility Smart Meters. Another is by wearing clothes that trick privacy violating cameras. Fabulous!
A new clothing line lets you camouflage yourself as a car to mess with surveillance cameras. The garments in the Adversarial Fashion collection are covered with license plate images that trigger automated license plate readers, or ALPRs, to inject junk data into systems used to monitor and track civilians.
ALPRs — which are typically mounted on street poles, streetlights, highway overpasses and mobile trailers — use networked surveillance cameras and image recognition to track license plate numbers, along with location, date and time.
Hacker and fashion designer Kate Rose showed off her inaugural line at the DefCon cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas over the weekend. It was inspired by a conversation with a friend who works at the Electronic Frontier Foundation about the “low specificity” or inaccuracy of a lot of plate readers on police cars.
The Adversarial Fashion garments, she said, highlight the need to make computer-controlled surveillance less invasive and harder to use without human oversight.
The collection includes shirts, hoodies, jackets, dresses and skirts covered in modified license plate images and other circuitry patterns. Some of the garb features wording from the Fourth Amendment in bold yellow letters written over separate license plates made to look like the kind you see on vintage California cars
Rose, who’s organized civic hackathons across the US, isn’t the first designer to come up with wearables meant to flip off surveillance cameras.
Artist Leo Selvaggio created a 3D-printed rubber mask aimed at foiling surveillance cameras by making everyone look like the same person — him.
The Adversarial Fashion website also includes DIY resources such as APIs and image-editing tools for those interested in designing their own anti-surveillance fashion.
Activist Post Book Recommendation: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism
Activist Post reports regularly about privacy violations and other issues associated with surveillance technology. For more information, visit our archives.
Image credit: Pixabay
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