Facebook is testing out a new security feature leveraging facial recognition for account recovery.
The feature is currently being tested by a select group of users, and is aimed specifically at situations in which individuals have been locked out of their accounts. It uses the camera of a trusted device – ie. a smartphone or computer from which the user has previously logged in – to biometrically scan the user’s face, presumably matching that individual to images in her or his user account.
Confirming the feature’s existence in response to an inquiry from TechCrunch, Facebook wrote that it “is another step, alongside two-factor authentication via SMS, that were taking to make sure account owners can confirm their identity.”
It’s a security initiative that may come as a surprise to some, given that Facebook has previously landed in legal trouble over its use of facial recognition. But this particular effort is narrow in scope, and it may be that Facebook and other IT players are currently feeling emboldened in embracing facial recognition technology now that Apple is preparing to spearhead its mass market adoption with the iPhone X and its Face ID system, the mere announcement of which seems to have already had substantial ripple effects in the tech industry.
Facebook is also reportedly looking to implement facial recognition in its forthcoming Aloha device, a smart home hub aimed at competing against the Amazon Echo and other such systems.
October 2, 2017 – by Alex Perala