MegaPixels is an online art project that explores the history of face recognition from the perspective of datasets. MegaPixels aims to unravel the meanings behind the data and expose the darker corners of the biometric industry that have contributed to its growth.

Through a mix of case studies, visualizations, and interactive tools, Megapixels will use face recognition datasets to tell the history of modern biometrics. Many people have contributed to the development of face recognition technology, both wittingly and unwittingly. Not only scientists, but also celebrities and regular internet users have played a part.

Face recognition is a mess of contradictions. It works, yet it doesn't actually work. It's cheap and accessible, but also expensive and out of control. Face recognition research has achieved headline grabbing superhuman accuracies over 99.9%, yet in practice it's also dangerously inaccurate.

During a trial installation at Sudkreuz station in Berlin in 2018, 20% of the matches were wrong, a number so low that it should not have any connection to law enforcement or justice. And in London, the Metropolitan police had been using face recognition software that mistakenly identified an alarming 98% of people as criminals, which perhaps is a crime itself.

MegaPixels was created by Adam Harvey and will launch in May 2019.