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Belgian Artist Creates Instagram Surveillance Tool

The latest project from artist Dries Depoorter is called “The Follower”, and it’s a frightening glimpse into the world of public surveillance.



belgian artist creates instagram surveillance tool
Twitter (@DriesDepoorter)

How often have you or your friends posed for an Instagram photo in public? Whether you’re on vacation or fooling around outside your favorite restaurant, we’re guessing the answer is most likely “a lot”. Well, if that’s the case, you might just end up as a subject in artist Dries Depoorter’s latest project, called “The Follower”.

The sinister-sounding creation was born after Depoorter noticed someone taking a lot of public Instagram shots:

“One day, I saw a person taking photos for like 20 minutes, and I was trying to find them on Instagram a day later without much success. That’s when I started building the software,” says Depoorter.

Thanks to the facial recognition software built by Depoorter, which crawls through footage from open webcams live streaming in public spaces, he quickly found a video of the Instagrammer in question when he posted shots onto the Meta-owned platform later that day.

The project is a fascinating (and terrifying) glimpse into how much information can be gathered using modern software — especially as the artist only had access to publicly available cameras. Depoorter’s work highlights the sheer scale of the world’s surveillance network and the enormous volumes of data we give away daily for AI bots to analyze.

Also Read: How To Permanently Delete Your Instagram Account

Depoorter has a history of projects like “The Follower”. In 2021, he created a similar piece of software that scanned the live streams of Flemish government meetings, using AI to search for politicians scrolling through their smartphones out of apparent boredom. The project was known as “The Flemish Scrollers” and automatically tagged the targets via Twitter.

As Depoorter points out, he isn’t the only one with access to these cameras, and it’s genuinely scary to imagine the surveillance tools the world’s government agencies have at their disposal. Next time you take selfies in a public place, check over your shoulder — you might be being watched!


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World’s Largest Metaverse Developer Opens Dubai Office

LandVault, the largest metaverse creator, is expanding its presence into the MENA region.



world's largest metaverse developer opens dubai office

LandVault, the world’s largest metaverse developer, will expand operations to Dubai later this month as part of an ongoing strategy to boost its presence in the MENA region. The company aims to help local businesses gain a foothold in the expanding web 3.0 universe and sees exciting opportunities to bolster its client portfolio.

So far, metaverse developer LandVault has lived up to its name, creating and curating over 100 square feet of virtual space for a diverse range of organizations, including the nearby Yas Marina Circuit, Aldar, Mastercard, Standard Chartered, World of Women, Hershey’s, and many more.

The Dubai government’s Metaverse Strategy is one of the key reasons LandVault has been inspired to move to the region, as leaders plan to transform the Emirate into one of the world’s top 10 metaverse economies by 2030. Eventually, it’s hoped that in excess of 1,000 companies in the blockchain and web 3.0 spaces will be inspired to set up entities in the region, creating around 40,000 new jobs in the process.

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“We are excited to open our office in Dubai and to be a part of the vibrant tech community in the UAE. The MENA region is a key market for us, and we believe that our presence in Dubai will allow us to assist the region and explore new opportunities. We are also excited about the potential for the metaverse in the real estate industry in the UAE. We look forward to working with developers and real estate companies to showcase their properties in a new and innovative way,” says Sam Huber, CEO of LandVault.

Alongside developing the metaverse from its new Dubai office, LandVault will also deploy its technology to assist the UAE’s real estate sector. Developers will soon be able to showcase their projects in a way that was never previously possible, reaching a much wider audience with immersive and interactive property tours and even virtual showrooms.

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