Departmental Papers (CIS)

Date of this Version

March 2003

Document Type

Conference Paper


Postprint version. Published in Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 2760, Privacy Enhancing Technologies: Third International Workshop, PET 2003, Revised Papers, pages 88-106.
Publisher URL:


The objective of DARPA’s Human ID at a Distance (HID) program "is to develop automated biometric identification technologies to detect, recognize and identify humans at great distances." While nominally intended for security applications, if deployed widely, such technologies could become an enormous privacy threat, making practical the automatic surveillance of individuals on a grand scale. Face recognition, as the HID technology most rapidly approaching maturity, deserves immediate research attention in order to understand its strengths and limitations, with an objective of reliably foiling it when it is used inappropriately. This paper is a status report for a research program designed to achieve this objective within a larger goal of similarly defeating all HID technologies.



Date Posted: 11 September 2005