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The gamification of biometric surveillance (Not as fun as it sounds)

The gamification of biometric surveillance (Not as fun as it sounds)

If everything can be gamified, then life battling blanket facial recognition should be a hoot, though on second thought, “a hoot” might be overstating things.

For instance, a small coalition of European Union parties focused on the environment and regional self-governance parties have written a mobile and desktop game called The Biometrics Outrun. Its name is a fair description of game play.

Then there is the real-life adventure of claiming sole ownership of your face.

First, The Biometrics Outrun, in which players have a realistic chance of winning in under a year.

The Greens/European Free Alliance, a minority coalition in the European Parliament, has created what it calls a “social impact video game.”

Historically, attempts by politicians and political operatives to create entertainment succeed like spoiled fish in clearing any space, but there is always a first time. Greens/EFA members say their game will raise awareness for “the urgent need to ban facial recognition” in public places.

Apps are available for IOS and Android devices, and it can be played on browsers as well.

For a more challenging and enlightening game, players could follow the example of German hacker Matthias Marx, as first reported by the online publication Coda.

Marx took exception to U.S.-based Clearview AI’s scraping of his face from social media for its owners’ profit.

He was fortunate in that his city, Hamburg, has a data protection authority with some stamina. A year after Marx asked Clearview to delete all biometric data it had on him, the authority was able to delete the hash value describing his face.

More news and analysis of Clearview and the questions it poses for citizens and the industry are here. Related coverage about EU biometrics regulation are here.

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