Facebook Testing Facial Recognition For Account Recovery
After Apple reinvented facial recognition a few weeks ago, everybody wants to critique or get a piece of the action. This includes Facebook, said to be working on facial recognition as a means of unlocking user accounts. Like other services, the world’s largest social network platform has a problem persuading people to keep their passwords safe. You might think that something so important must surely be a priority to remember, but in today’s world of signing in once a couple of years ago and then never needing to sign in again, it’s easily done. More and more companies are turning to use biometric solutions to make it easier to sign into devices, accounts and services, such as fingerprint sensors, iris scanners, and yes, facial recognition. I’m sure Facebook has been working on using facial recognition to help customers recover their accounts for a while, it’s simply coincidence that the news arrives shortly after Apple’s best ever iPhone (2017 edition).
Currently, should a Facebook user forget his or her password, the social network may ask them to recognise a growing number of their friends before allowing them access back. Other companies use two-factor authentication or will send a text message to a ‘phone attached to your account. These methods are not infallible: if your Facebook account password has been compromised at the same time your smartphone was stolen, you could be out of luck.
On the face of it, pun intended, this seems like a sensible idea – but let’s remember that this is Facebook. This is the same company where the service mysteriously starts producing targeted adverts after a device with the application installed on it is in the same room as a conversation about the subject in particular. This is the same company where images of the founder in front of a laptop computer show the camera taped over. Of course, Facebook has denied that its application has ever eavesdropped on conversations and I wouldn’t expect anything else. Do you really want to volunteer another piece of information to Facebook?
Facebook told the TechCrunch website: “We are testing a new feature for people who want to quickly and easily verify account ownership during the account recovery process. 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.” It all sounds so reassuring, safe, and not stalkerish in the slightest. I can rest easy…
Arguably it doesn’t matter. If we have profile pictures, and if we’re tagged on Facebook, the service already knows what we look like. Depending on how clever Facebook’s facial recognition software if, they might not gain much additional insight into what we look like. Presumably Facebook’s service will need refreshing every few years, not unlike our driving licence or passport, as we age.
Me? I would rather lose access to my account than volunteer detailed mugshots to sit on a Facebook server somewhere.
SOURCE [Android Authority]