In 2017-2018, hipster glasses had a real moment. Now the question is; are you ready for a new kind of face wear? If you’ve ever wondered, what happens to the image of your face that you leave behind everywhere you go, then perhaps it’s time to gear up with some protective wear.
Protect Me is a brand created by Iris de Vries to physically protect ourselves from the face-tracking technologies around us. She has designed a collection of glasses, a series of face prosthesis and a series of necklaces.
The glasses ensure that the face of the person wearing them will be not detected. The face prosthesis will allow faces to be detected but not identified. And the necklaces are slingshots – a symbol of rebellion – that can be worn as a mask. The brand is a platform with a variety of products that strive to achieve the same goal, namely to raise awareness about privacy and digital safety by encouraging people to reflect on the pros and cons of facial recognition.
The PROTECT ME line confronts people with the presence of facial recognition in our everyday lives. The aim is certainly not to judge or even prevent people from enjoying platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and the iPhone camera. Rather, de Vries wants people to stay critical. As researchers, we know how important this message is, particularly to a generation of young people. These Millennials and Gen-Z youngsters are often eager for the instant gratification and self-branding offered by various digital platforms, but are often not yet fully aware of the privacy rights that they are giving up.
Think about it, everywhere we go we leave digital tracks. Surveillance cameras can detect our face, recognize our face and even link our face in time to a location or event. The same digital process happens everywhere at anytime – for example like on social media where we are tagged in photos. Our identity can simply be disclosed based on an image of our face. Facial recognition is balancing on the thin line of our intimacy and can invade our privacy.
Privacy is hard to come by these days and therefore anonymity is increasingly seen as a luxury. We often find ourselves advising clients to offer V.I.D. treatment (very importnat data). From consumers’ perspective, we’ve often heard them exclaim “I know you have my data, now show me what you’re doing with it”.
For the Dutchies, check out de Vries kick ass and tell us about what drove her to this awesome design collection. Even though we’re not big fans of “what’s in and what’s out”, here’s us predicting that face accessories offering the luxury of anonymity will totally be a thing next year!