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Biometric: deepfakes and identification

With more technology relying on biometrics, I'd like to explore & understand its use/misuse in computer science for identification.

Photo of Tiffany Baker

Written by

Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

I learned that it was helpful to take a conceptual approach. Deepfakes are videos that rely on biometrics, body measurements, to make them appear real. Since my style is collage, art, the biggest challenge was trying to visually suggest what happens in a moving video with a static graphic. My solution was to show the concept of manipulation.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

I'm a designer based out of New York. I've always been artistic and started by painting and drawing around 4 years old. When I enrolled in college, I learned photoshop and started developing a digital collage style. I'm very interested in objects, portraits, and faces and they are reoccurring themes in my work. I spend my days creating photo-illustrations for CNN.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

A colleague shared this contest with me! I was very excited to hear about it since I'm often trying to come up with concepts on cybersecurity and there's not much creative work done in the space.

Website(s) and

What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have minimal experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a professional visual creator affiliated with an organization.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

Location: City


Location: State / District

New York

Location: Country

  • United States of America

What opportunity areas are you covering with this final portfolio? (250 characters)

I'm submitting under the opportunity area "Wildcard". The theme of my final submission is "Biometric: identification and the digital self".

Final Portfolio (1,500 characters)

As the use of technology continues to be woven into the fabric of our lives, my portfolio explores the loss of power and distortion of our digital selves. Biometric verification in tech evaluates body measurements to identify users through the mapping of facial features, fingerprints, retina and iris patterns, voice waves and other factors to effectively learn “you”. Once learnt, technology can then be programmed to identify and /or alter your likeness. My work deals with the theme surrounding the surrender of self to tech and the degradation of our digital identity. My aim is to spark visibility, educate and expand the conversations through visually compelling imagery.

How would you summarize your final portfolio in 100 words or less? (650 characters)

The final portfolio deals with the subject of digital identity illustrated through 5 unique vignettes. The likeness of each subject is copied, distorted, or made ambiguous in some way. Using a variety of different subjects, I am making a commentary about how ubiquitous biometric verification is in our lives and how it touches a wide audience.

Briefly describe your imagined use case for the work in your portfolio. (250 characters)

A series of art exhibits with the goal of education through exposure to these themes. A series of fireside chats about the work would be scheduled to spark conversations to the public in co-working spaces, coffee shops, & non-profit centers.

What was the most useful feedback that you received? (1,000 characters)

The most useful feedback was the reactions other Ideo contestants had to the work and what it made them feel. My concepts developed for the better I believe pivoted from celebrities being represented in deep fakes and leaned into the concept of everyday people losing power over their likeness.

How have your concepts evolved since the Ideas Phase? (1,000 characters)

Yes. I shifted from celebrities and political influences to the wider known public. Users like you and me and those of marginalized communities who have a digital footprint.

How have you been able to incorporate technical accuracy into your concepts? (1000 characters)

I did more background research on biometrics and focused on those factors in each of the final pieces. I honed in on the human emotional aspect through the subject matter while still maintaining conceptual visuals.

How do your concepts expand the conversation on cybersecurity? (1000 characters)

My work questions, "Who has power over your digital likeness?", and touches the theme of the loss of self and our digital identity. This body of work can push edges by acting as a springboard to bring these conversations to the forefront.

If you were provided with additional time and resources, are there additional ways that you’d wish to reimagine the visual language of cybersecurity? (1,000 characters)

I would establish a team of designers dedicated to creating cc 4.0 images for cybersecurity and submit them to the cc database. I would also like to open up this theme to exhibiting artists who could be instrumental in pushing the visual envelope through conceptual work around these topics.

What resources did you find most helpful? (optional, 1,000 characters)

I really gained a lot from the creative commons licensing webinar. It was a lot of new information and I really thought it was amazing Ideo was so fast and responsive to organize that resource for us contestants. Thank you.

Commitment to Creative Commons License (CC BY 4.0)

  • Yes, I ensure that my portfolio is in compliance with CC BY 4.0.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dima Boulad

I'm so glad to see the progress of this idea and the sketches into your final portfolio Tiffany Baker .As the review team is going through all submissions, I would like to take this chance to thank you for your participation in this Challenge and your dedication to this important and complex topic. Watch this space as we announce the top picks!

Photo of Tiffany Baker

Thank you Dima!

Photo of Rebecca Wang

Love the final submission! The images are so visually striking, and I hope it will start a conversation about biometric verification.

Photo of Tiffany Baker

Thank you!

Photo of Sark Asadourian

I love the drawings. I don't know if you could do this but if you actually used deep fakes as you people. Here is a website you can find them. I hope you like this idea.

Photo of DeletedUser


I think these sketches are very strong. Both work for me but in slightly different ways. I think the first conveys emotionally distortion of the truth; the second the marring of the image of a public figure. I am a fellow entrant. If you are willing to do so, I invite you to take a look at my entry and suggest ways to make it better.
Best of luck.

John Messing

Photo of DeletedUser


I think the person in the sketch might detract from the quality of the art. :)

Photo of Dima Boulad

Agree with @DeletedUser on this one. I really like the experimental conceptual approach in both sketches (especially the second yellow one is visually very interesting!), but going for a less recognizable figure might be more helpful to the artistic quality and the overall message you are trying to convey. What do you think?

Photo of Tiffany Baker

Yes I can explore this theme with a less recognizable figure since “Biometrics” is very general and can mean anyone. (Like iPhone facial recognition and the faceapp craze). Usually deepfakes videos use recognizable public figures, celebrities and people in politics. Is that information helpful? Let me know if it’s helpful to include that in the description too. I’m certainly not tied to this guy.

Thanks Dima and @DeletedUser

Photo of Leila Woolheater

Hi Tiffany, I think it would be cool if you wanted to be the person in the photo. I noticed that you'd shared your own photo as a profile picture. I wondered if it would have extra meaning if you were both the artist and the subject of the deepfake art that you're making. It would be as if you were imagining yourself as being both the deep fake image/video and what it would be like if that happened. (In museums, I used to see self-portraits of artists, so I just wanted to put the idea out there in case you're looking for ideas. Also, I could imagine a situation where getting a new subject and a photo waiver in time could be easier said than done, so I thought commenting just might help.)

Photo of DeletedUser


Using yourself as the subject is a great idea too.

I can understand the OPs point though - Deepfaking celebrities or politicians to affect national opinion fits the "Cyber Conflict" focus area but changing the image to someone not as recognizable or without equivalent influence would undermine that focus area's message. Maybe, consider less "controversial" influencers like Kim Kardashian, Kylie Jenner, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Angela Merkel, Boris Johnson, etc.

Leaving the influencer bubble, I could also see Sketch 2 having a "malicious" looking person/thing becoming an apparently less malicious looking person or thing.

For example:

figurative robot virus =~= Kim K
Putin =~= rubber duck toy

Photo of Tiffany Baker

Leila I love this concept, super multi-layered

Photo of Tiffany Baker

@DeletedUser your feedback was helpful! I was able to target and explain my concept and bit more and altering the subject of the art convey the tone.

Photo of Leila Woolheater

Awesome, Tiffany!

Photo of Tristan Spill

Personally I would have kept the earlier Trump versions as sketches to show idea progression and to allow these comments about "the person" or "this guy" to make sense. By erasing them I read this as self-censorship and edited memory loss. Without mentioning who is in the earlier images normalises an unintended chilling effect.