Facebook is appreciated for tracking users even when they log off from the site; the social media titan also faces criticism over its tactics to collect user data. Now it is being announced that Facebook is experimenting facial identifying technology to assist users in unlocking their Facebook accounts.Means Facebook will use your face to verify that the locked account belongs to you and not some script kiddie or third-party trying to access someone else’s account. According to TechCrunch, “that could be especially useful if you’re somewhere that you can’t receive two-factor authentication SMS, like on a plane or while traveling abroad, or if you lose access to your email account”.
“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, which was taking to make sure account owners can confirm their identity,” Facebook told TechCrunch.
It is most likely that Facebook is impressed with iPhone X’s facial recognition that lets users unlock their phone instantly. A screenshot shared by Matt Navara of TNW, one can see how Facebook’s facial recognition feature will be working in future.
The facial recognition itself has become one of the fastest growing tech used by companies, for instance, China is using facial recognition system in public toilets and the United States airports are using the same technology to keep track of those leaving or visiting the country.
The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) also owns a database of more than 411 million images out of which 140 million belongs to foreigners who applied for US visa and 30 million mugshots of criminals without any oversight.
However, according to a recent survey of 129 hackers conducted by security firm Bitglass found facial recognition was considered the second less efficient security tool behind standard passwords. Facial recognition was also rated as the worst tool six times more often than fingerprint authentication, indicating that there are many doubts in the air about the security of facial recognition tech.
According to Thomas Fischer, global security advocate at Digital Guardian, “Facebook’s Face ID seems to be focused on providing users with the second factor of authentication were they to lose access to their account, or forget their password. It is interesting to note that Facebook’s technology will only work on a device that has already been associated with a user account. This effectively provides a three-layer authentication mechanism: account, device and biometrics, you will need all three factors to gain access. This can significantly increase the security of a user’s account.”
While Facebook has experienced some backlash to facial recognition for photo tag suggestions in the past, this feature would only use the technology to privately help you out. Therefore it shouldn’t engender as big of privacy concerns, though obviously anything related to biometric data can give people pause. But if it means you can get back to your messages and News Feed, or repair damage done by a hacker, many people are likely to be comfortable to use their face to Facebook