From a tiny DNA sample, Parabon says it can determine someone’s sex, ancestry, skin color, hair color, eye color, freckling, and even face shape. This technology can’t determine how old the litterbugs are—DNA doesn’t change based on your age—but Ogilvy says it took into consideration other factors, such as “demographics based on the type of litter and where it was collected to determine the approximate age of the litterer.”

While Rafael Guida, a creative director with Ogilvy in Hong Kong, said in a release that this campaign “combines a public service message with science,” it raises questions about privacy in public places. Eric Schmidt, when he was CEO of Google, was lambasted for suggesting that “if you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” You could make the same argument about littering, which is a crime, but it probably doesn’t warrant the level of public shaming we use for terrorists and murderers.

Ogilvy’s campaign looks a lot like the art of Heather Dewey-Hagborg, who in 2013 used DNA samples from objects left at subway stops in New York and Dublin to create 3D faces of the possible offenders. Ogilvy wasn’t immediately available for comment on the similarity between the two projects.

But who knows, if this campaign takes off, our culture of blaming each other may soon lead to a world that this cautionary tale warned us about:

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