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Activists Protest Facial Recognition in Moscow

Moscow’s system of facial recognition cameras has grown from 1,500 in 2017 to more than 100,000 today. As there are more cameras across the city in metro stations, in parks and on street corners, activists are becoming increasingly concerned that facial recognition is becoming a political tool used to surveil and control activists.

A group of artists and activists, who call themselves ‘Follow,’ is using a low-tech way of thwarting facial recognition cameras: face paint. Different colors and shapes are intended to hide the geometrical nature of the human face and thus confuse the cameras.

On Feb. 9, ‘Follow,’ led by political artist and activist Katrin Nenasheva, took to the streets of Moscow to protest the city’s extensive use of facial recognition cameras.

Coda Story followed the group as they applied the makeup and were arrested minutes into their march. Watch to learn why activists like Katrin are worried about facial recognition and how they plan to combat it.