rc3

Turning Facial Recognition Against the Police
2020-12-28, 21:40–22:10 (Europe/Berlin), rC1

In October 2020, Paolo Cirio collected 1000 public images of police officers in photos taken during protests in France and processed them with Facial Recognition software.


Cirio then created an online platform with a database of the resulting 4000 faces of police officers to crowdsource their identification by name. Cirio also printed the officers’ headshots as street art posters and posted them throughout Paris to expose them in the public space. This provocation generated reactions by the French Interior Minister, police unions and families, major media outlets, and the communities of protesters in France.

The project Capture comments on the potential uses and misuses of Facial Recognition and Artificial Intelligence by questioning the asymmetry of power at play. The lack of privacy regulations of such technology eventually turns against the same authorities that urge the use of it.

Ultimately, as an activist, Cirio introduced a campaign to ban Facial Recognition technology in all of Europe by organizing a petition in collaboration with privacy organizations.