The Paper Bag Society challenge
The #PaperBagSociety is a social media challenge part of the #ReclaimYourFace campaign that invites everyone to share online the impact of living life with a paperbag on the head. With it, we aim to raise awareness of how ridiculous is to avoid facial recognition technologies in public spaces and why we need to build an alternative future, free from biometric mass surveillance.
In the past months, we’ve raised awareness of the dangers of biometric mass surveillance. Part of the process was also understanding how complex the systems that rely on biometric data are. We tried to find different ways to trick them, looking at facial recognition surveillance technologies deployed in our public spaces. The results are clear: as an individual, it is terribly difficult to trick biometric mass surveillance.
This is the reason why, at some point, one of the campaign organisers joked:
We ask: what would it be like to go about our daily lives with the paper bag on our head? Do we need to use a paper bag to protect our faces from creepy recognition technologies? Is this the society we want to live in? In a world that remains dominated by ableism, it could be challenging to love, to cross the street, to merely interact.
Collectively, a #PaperBagSociety becomes a dystopian reality, a metaphor for the way biometric mass surveillance suppresses our choices, our speech and our freedoms. We realised this could be a great imagination exercise for anyone wanting to understand better why we need a world free from intrusive technologies that track our bodies and behaviour.
This is how the #PaperBagSociety challenge was born.
The #PaperBagSociety is a social media challenge part of the #ReclaimYourFace campaign. The challenge invites everyone to share on social media the impact of living life with a paperbag on the head.
Using absurd comedy, this action aims to draw attention to why the heavy burden of avoiding creepy biometric surveillance technologies in public spaces should not fall on us, the people.
Instead, the action emphasises that an alternative future is possible. There are solutions to prevent a paper bag society: we must ban biometric mass surveillance across the EU and beyond.
Be part of the #PaperBagSociety challenge!
1. Go for a stroll in a publicly accessible space (public square, on the street, in a train station, a supermarket, a cafe, a stadium, shopping mall etc).
2. Put a paper bag on and try to live in the public space.
3. Take a video or a photo of the experience and share it on social media.
4. Make sure to tag #ReclaimYourFace & #PaperBagSociety and explain to your friends why we must ban biometric mass surveillance.
P.S. First and above all: make sure you don’t put yourself or others in danger. Keep it cool.
P.S.2: Are you lucky enough to be a citizen in an EU country? VOTE to BAN biometric mass surveillance !