Readings — From the October 2019 issue

Face Lift

Download Pdf
Read Online

From modifications made to photographs of suspects by N.Y.P.D. officers before entering them into facial-­recognition software, as referenced in “Garbage In, Garbage Out: Face Recognition on Flawed Data,” a report published in May by the Georgetown University Center on Privacy and Technology. N.Y.P.D. training materials state that “with moderate disfigurement, a facial recognition search can still be performed.”

Altered angle of suspect’s face
Removed eyeglasses
Removed eyes
Copied an image of eyes from the results of a Google search, imported them into
   Photoshop, and placed over the closed eyelids of the suspect
Removed smoke exhalation, opened eyes, added lips and chin
Conducted a Google search for a male model, copied the model’s lips, and pasted them
   over suspect’s mouth
Copied the visible half of suspect’s face and flipped horizontally to create a mirrored
   image, painting in missing pixels to fill out a face
Constructed the missing bottom half of suspect’s face
Created a “virtual probe” by using Photoshop to combine suspect’s face with the
   hairline, forehead, eyebrows, and nose from a stock photo of a man bearing a
   resemblance to the suspect
Replaced a pixelated photograph of suspect with one of Woody Harrelson

You are currently viewing this article as a guest. If you are a subscriber, please sign in. If you aren't, please subscribe below and get access to the entire Harper's archive for only $23.99/year.

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Download Pdf
Single Page

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada


October 2019


You’ve read your free article from Harper’s Magazine this month.

*Click “Unsubscribe” in the Weekly Review to stop receiving emails from Harper’s Magazine.