Light spoilers ahead!

If you haven't played the game yet, it's recommended to do so first.



Are You You is an online game about face recognition technology

Can you beat face recognition by making funny faces? This game lets people experience how difficult it is to avoid face recognition technology. 

One of the recommendations that SHERPA made to the European Commission is that it would be wise to ban large scale urban face recognition systems. Their benefits do not outweigh the damage they can do to our ability to protect and safeguard human rights.

The game starts by taking a photo of your face (left), and then the algorithms outputs a likelyhood that the person in the live webcam feed (right) matches with the person on the left. Since they are both you, you might expect this match to be 100%, but in reality these algorithms are almost never that sure.


After three rounds you learn how well you've been able to cast doubt. You also get a score for you efforts (so that you can compete with friends).

"Let's talk about data-driven chilling effects"

Afterwards the game asks you to think about how face recognition systems might influence your willingness to visit places. For exampe, your willingness to visit the Red Light District or a protest march. An issue that I believe needs more attention is how surveillance technologies can create unwanted "data-driven chilling effects" (and "social cooling").



No personal data is collected. The entire game runs locally in your own browser. This is why it does take a while to load - the face recognition algorithm needs to be downloaded to your device.

Similarly, the website does not use cookies of any other form of tracking.

The game does save the final (anonymous) score. This allows me to know how often the game has been played, and how often people are able to beat the AI.

The making of

The game builds on the FaceApiJs framework. This open source project was also used as the basis for How Normal Am I?

‌ Everything else is custom. In case you're curious, you can find the javascript here. Note: while AreYouYou's code is fully public and inspectable, it is not itself open source. Please do not create ethically questionable projects based on this project.

SPeak up

H‌ave a look at the Reclaim Your Face campaign if you would like to see a European law that bans large scale urban face recognition systems.