News, Security

Facebook tests facial recognition tech to unlock accounts

Facebook is testing a new facial recognition feature to verify users’ identity when logging into their account, according to TechCrunch.

Social media researcher Devesh Logendran sent a screenshot of the feature to TNW’s Matt Navarra, which was then posted on Twitter. (See below)

“We are testing a new feature for people who want to quickly and easily verify account ownership during the account recovery process,” said Facebook in a statement to TechCrunch. “This optional feature is available only on devices you’ve already used to log in. It is another step, alongside two-factor authentication via SMS, that were taking to make sure account owners can confirm their identity.”

Facebook says the facial verification would occur during the account recovery process, when two-factor authentication – which sends a code by SMS – cannot be accessed.

If the feature proves reliably helpful to users and isn’t fooled by hackers, the social media giant has hinted that it could potentially roll the service out to more people.

This latest revelation comes after the company said in April last year that it was working on a feature to automatically tag videos of you and your friends to make posts more searchable. It already does that for photos: Facebook’s DeepFace can tell with 97 percent accuracy whether two pictures are of the same person.

However, facial recognition, though convenient, has traditionally been easy to trick; the Samsung S8’s facial scanner can be fooled with just a photo. Facebook has noted that facial scanning isn’t the most secure form of authenticating someone’s identity.

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